John Sizzle

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales and is the tenth birthday of Queer Perspectives, the National Portrait Gallery’s pioneering quarterly programme curated and hosted by artist Sadie Lee.

Over the past decade Sadie has welcomed guests – including Ali Smith, Sunil Gupta, David McAlmont, Andrew Logan, Amy Lamé, Richard Dyer, David Holah, Neil Bartlett, Scottee and Bird La Bird – to discuss people in the Gallery’s Collection that have a personal resonance, teasing out surprising links and hidden histories.

Sadie Lee by Robert Taylor

To celebrate, the National Portrait Gallery is throwing a FREE birthday bash on Thursday 9 November and you’re invited. Join us for an extravaganza featuring performances, pop-up bars, talks, tours and a DJ set by the legendary John Sizzle.

  • Take a queer stroll through the Collection with a Late Shift Tour put together by artist and curator Sadie Lee
  • Get drawing in a drop-in queer-themed session led by artist Becca Human
  • Hang out in the Portrait Café with hirsute hostess-cum-matchmaker Timberlina for a spot of speed dating and arty making
  • Get ready for your close-up in photographer Marysa Dowling’s pop-up studio
  • Watch a selection of Deep Lez short films selected by curator Nazmia Jamal
  • Hear about the startling link between the National Portrait Gallery and Section 377, the British colonial law which outlawed queer sex, in a performative talk by artist Bird la Bird and theorist Doctor Rohit K Dasgupta
  • Experience some Brief Encounters with songs and stories inspired by famous queer sitters in the Collection performed by Rose Collis
  • Be serenaded by singer David McAlmont who celebrates his musical icons including Eartha Kitt, Dusty Springfield and Julie Andrews
  • Enjoy a drink at the Late Shift Bar and a DJ set by Drag scene legend John Sizzle
  • All events are drop-in and free. Event capacity is limited and spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

You can find out more about Queer Perspectives here.