Homotopia’s become somewhat of an annual must-see, bringing the best of the world’s wonderful, strange, enlightening, educating and rather-bloody-fabulous LGBT arts to Liverpool.

This year it’s back, and more exciting than ever, kicking off on the 1st November for an entire month. And what a month it’s set to be: this year they’ve upped their game with a varied programme of art, film and performance spread right across the city.

Tranny Hotel

Our particular highlights include site specific artwork Tranny Hotel (right): an idea so brilliant and huge that it could only be part of an annual amaze-fest like Homotopia. Essentially, it’s a gang of transgender artists taking over the city’s Adelphi hotel for a weekend (and, in the process, breathing some much needed colour into the place). Work will be performed in different spaces around the hotel, from hallways to suites to staircases, creating a huge multi-roomed world of wonder. Unmissable.

The exhibition side of this year’s programme is particularly strong. Andy Green’s ‘Totally Frocked Off’ sees him exhibit photos of characters from the local scene, ‘PIN UPs’ sees new portrait work from acclaimed artists Sadie Lee and Mathew Stradling, and ‘Berlin-Yogyakarta: From Hitler’s Terror to Human Rights Today’ takes a look at the persecution of non-heterosexuals by the Nazis.

There’s also a couple of big crowd-pullers, as well (and ones you could probably take your mum to). ‘Rock Hudson: Dark And Handsome Stranger’ (pictured top) is a new documentary on the intriguing film star showing at the CUC, for one night only. Over the other side of town, ‘Savage Style: Costumes From Lily’s Wardrobe’ at the Walker is an exhibition of local comedy legend Lily Savage’s gowns, frocks and outlandish outfits – a real coup for the festival and the city.

La John Joseph

Homotopia always throws in some strong theatre work, too. This year it’s the charmingly titled ‘Cruising, Clubbing, F*cking’ by the Joseph Mercier Company, the award winning dance piece ‘At Swim Two Boys’ and La John Joseph (above)‘s council house/glam tale ‘Underclass Hero’ amongst others.

Alternative Miss Liverpool at the Kazimier is the jewel in the crown, however. A skewed, mashed up take on pageant culture, the competition’s set to pit contestants of all ages (and genders) against each other in a celebration of creativity and expression. It’ll have all the hallmarks of a normal beauty pageant: there’s daywear, evening wear and swimwear rounds, alongside hilarious Homotopia-specific categories like ‘Confirmed Bachelors’, ‘Queens Of The Nile’ and ‘Peacock Punks’. How much fun does that sound? We’re already preening ourselves in anticipation.

Homotopia
Various venues, Liverpool city centre
1st – 30th November 2011