Cabaret returns with a disco twist for Christchurch Pride

Tim Maguire. Photo: Supplied
Tim Maguire. Photo: Supplied
Celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community's pride is not something Christchurch performer Tim Maguire thinks about all the time.

But having the opportunity to be recognised as part of that community in a cabaret marking Christchurch Pride is extremely important to him.

Following the success of its premiere last year the cabaret, Severely Queer - We're Coming Out, is back for another round - with Maguire, 20, in one of the starring roles.

The show is part of Christchurch Pride, which runs from March 12-22, and will also feature performers AJ Juer, Reylene Hilaga and Monique Clementson.

Maguire said the show provides an opportunity to be recognised as a group of individuals and reflect on the hard work of previous pride generations.

"Individually, it gives us a sense of purpose and sense of place, which sometimes mainstream society doesn't necessarily give us," he said.

Maguire said shows like Severely Queer are not only for the queer community, but also for allies and people who may not know a lot about queer culture.

Tim Maguire has a starring role in Severely Queer - We're Coming Out. Photo: Petra Mingneau...
Tim Maguire has a starring role in Severely Queer - We're Coming Out. Photo: Petra Mingneau Photography
Produced by Blackboard Theatre Collective, Maguire said the show has been brought back for another year due to its success in 2019. The company's director Jeremy Hinman was inspired to bring a disco theme to the cabaret.

"I felt like there was a gap in pride month for something like this - a cabaret put together specifically for pride - something fun and campy," Hinman said.

Audiences can expect to see big disco numbers brought to the stage from the likes of the Village People, Bee Gees, Whitney Houston and The Pointer Sisters.

Maguire said there will also be some classics, including Diana Ross' I'm Coming Out, which feels very fitting for the cabaret.

"It is a little bit raunchy, but there is all sorts of antics which will make anyone enjoy the show."

Maguire said it is a celebration of how much fun people can have when celebrating being themselves.

"It doesn't necessarily mean you have to be a queer person - if you are a person of colour, if you are a person with different religious beliefs, celebrating who you are is the point of this show," Maguire said.

His own experience of officially coming out at 18 was "very smooth" - as he has supportive family and friends.

Tim Maguire rehearsing for Severely Queer - We're Coming Out. Photo: Supplied
Tim Maguire rehearsing for Severely Queer - We're Coming Out. Photo: Supplied
For the past five years, he has been working at cosmetics company, Lush, which has supported him and gave him the opportunity to be an ambassador for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Although it is getting better, education around the transgender community still has a long way to go, Maguire said.

"Fortunately, with younger generations, we are seeing more understanding about the trans experience, but I think we are lucky and really grateful in Severely Queer to have an openly trans person," Maguire said.

"That is something we want to be showing as the queer community - we are all together."

Following the cabaret, Maguire will tour with New Zealand Playhouse before potentially moving to Australia.

But if he does leave NZ, Maguire hopes to return for projects, such as Severely Queer, that he is passionate about.

Severely Queer - We're Coming Out will run from March 13-15 at the Darkroom.  You can book tickets here.

More information on Christchurch Pride is available here






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