A transgender one-man show and a discussion of double standards and disillusionment feature as extracts in this double-bill of two works-in-progress as part of Queer Contact Festival 2012.

D’Lo presents D’FaQTo Life a coming out story with a cultural twist. An accredited touring performer, D’Lo’s repertoire of solo shows tackle the transgender social injustices from the perspective of being raised in a South Asian community amidst the backdrop of hip hop culture and political art.

Second on the bill is writer and performer DawN Crandell’s Xenophobadelica, an attempt to break down the irrational contradictions of homophobia within white queer communities.

Both pieces are performed with great charisma, impeccable comic timing and a tangible vulnerability that allows the actors to reveal their personal experiences through poignancy and reflection. Their aim is represent cultural diversity by addressing such radical issues as transphobia and the emotions and prejudices that are evoked in minority groups.

Particularly enjoyable is DawN Crandell’s level of audience interaction that creates a liberating and refreshing showmanship. She waltzes audience members to their seats on arrival and even performs a pseudo sex act on one theatregoer’s finger as she fantasises over Prince and his ‘purple masterpiece’, which despite the initial giggles became uncomfortably contrived.

D’Lo works hard to sustain an audience connection and there is a genuine feeling of interest in his history. But at times the performance begins to meander into previously unexplored territory when ‘Silhouette of a Man’ – albeit a powerful monologue – is thrown in for good measure and subsequently interrupts the flow of the piece.

Contact has worked hard to carve out a reputation as a venue that pushes the boundaries of social acceptances and with the right amount of tightening both pieces could certainly command a reputation in this theatrical political movement.

- Sarah Bloomer