Come As You Are Festival

A festival of trans, non-binary and gender queer theatre

When did you come out as male? Or female? Camden People’s Theatre will be taking over our venue with a host of performances and workshops from gender-anarchists with more questions than answers.

In the last few years, progressive thinking about gender has gone mainstream, and understanding has developed of gender as infinite variety. More and more individuals are reclaiming the right to define their genders, their bodies, their selves.

Following a hugely successful first edition in 2017, Come As You Are has been transformed into a pop up festival that will tour to venues across the UK. Headlined by the award-winning show Bullish by Milk Presents, the festival will celebrate and interrogate all the world’s issues regarding female, male, between and beyond.

It’s not going to be pretty – but it might just be beautiful.



This following performances will be captioned using The Difference Engine, delivering captioning or audio description direct to mobile devices.

The Difference Engine is Talking Birds‘ discrete new tool for making performances and events accessible to deaf, hard-of-hearing or partially-sighted audience members by delivering captioning or audio description direct to their own mobile devices.*

Find details of how to use it here >>

Festival Events:

Queer Performance and Devising Workshop
Fri 19 Oct | 6-8pm | free (booking required) 

Ladies, gentlemen and everyone beyond the binary, join Milk Presents in a practical workshop for curious artists. 

How can you define queer? How can you queer a space, an object or a body? What might a post-gender utopia look like? A world free from pinks and blues? If we didn’t have gender, how would his and hers happy meals work? Or toilets? Or onesies? When did you come out as straight? Who says that’s anyone’s business?! OK wow, just sop for a moment…

Using devising techniques, theory and discussion, this practical workshop will explore the theories and techniques that underpin Milk Presents’ unique queer performance practice. This workshop is for anyone wanting to explore queer performance.



Come As You Are Scratch Night
Sat 17 Nov | 5-7pm | Pay What You Can

A night of explosive new work from local trans, non binary and gender queer artists, featuring three 20 minute performances of new ideas in development. Expect brand new works in progress, never-before-seen ideas and some of the freshest work from the most innovative and exciting local theatre-makers, based around the themes of ‘Come As You Are’.



Non-Binary Electro Hour – Ray Filar
Sat 17 Nov | 9pm | £10 (£8)

Non-Binary Electro Hour brings together noise about queer life, and desire for queer/trans bodies, with a brief punk history of drag outside the boxes – from queer stars of stage and screen to the gender-bending icons of today. 

Expect songs, sci fi, strip-tease, and spoken word. This modern-day revue is a gender fucked take on what it’s like to be in-between categories. Non-Binary Electro Hour sold out its first two runs at Camden Peoples’ Theatre. Now it goes on tour for more celebrations of gender fuckery and fantasy.



Panel Discussion
Sun 18 Nov | 3-5pm | Pay What You Can

As part of the Come As You Are Festival, Exeter Phoenix and Camden People’s Theatre will be partnering with local trans and LGBTQIA+ organisations to curate a panel discussion exploring experiences and issues that are pertinent to the local trans, non-binary and gender queer community in Exeter.



Double Bill: I’m Bitter About Glitter / Deuce
Sun 18 Nov | 7pm | £10 (£8)

I’m Bitter About Glitter is a collaboration between Liz Clarke (42) and Felix Council (9) The piece collides extravagant fantasy and the reality of mother and child making a piece of work together; and the infinite questions this poses. Jam packed with wild tales, glamour, grit and sparkles, expect a joy filled adventure with a message of hope for the future. A gentle exploration of identity and how this is presented in terms of gender and choice and also the roles we play in our lives; subjects that the glitter loving pair are both very interested in. The show probes questions of agency, accepted norms, motherhood and the family.

Devised by Rachael Miles and Tom Marshman, Deuce explores the 30th anniversary of the introduction of Section 28, the infamous legislation that banned local authorities from ‘promoting’ homosexuality and had a profoundly damaging effect on the ability to be visible as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) person without fear of, or actual, reprisal. Deuce explores female masculinities and male femininities using pop cultural references to unpick historical representations of gender non-conformity and reinsert/instate them (and their relevance) into contemporary ‘queer’ discourse.



Bullish – Milk Presents
Sun 18 Nov | 8.30pm | £12 (£10)

From the makers of smash hit Joan (Off West End, Fringe First and Stage Award winner) Milk Presents bring you BULLISHBULLISH pits ancient mythology against modern gender navigation to furiously disrupt, traverse and rewrite the rulebook. Stepping into the ring with a gender fierce ensemble of hopers and renegades, BULLISH is a story about packing, passing, and gambling your way out of the labyrinth.

A new mythical play with songs, negotiating ancient and new territories in trans-masculine gender and identity. This show drops a proverbial bull into a china shop and hopes it breaks everything.