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   Queer Variety Show

This information is updated regularly. 

Queer Variety Show

Featuring Queer/LGBTIQA+ and Disabled (includes neurodivergent, mental illness, chronic illness) performers and our allies


Smith's Alternative

76 Alinga Street, Canberra, ACT. 


Tuesdays 7pm - 9pm


18th June - Open theme

20th August - 'Connection' theme

29th October - Open theme

17th December - 'Beliefs'  theme


Inquiries -

QVS first show banner.jpg

Image description: A black silhouette of a crowd of people, who are looking forward, in front of them is rainbow swirling patterns. Text: Smith's Alternative.  The Queer Variety Show, Tuesday 18th June, 7-9pm.

Our first show at Smith's Alternative will have burlesque, drag, spoken word, a musician, a clown and a mythical creature, all led by Mena Paws.


Featuring; Ginger Nibbles, Desire Ability, Daedri Demure, Kate Wood and Kaotic Dezires, with more to be announced. 

There will be prizes and we encourage you to wear your pajamas, track suit or something that is comfy.  Not queer?  that's okay, there's still much in this for you too.  Tickets are $20 for concessions and $25 full price. 

Tickets for this show are on sale now, click here


Many building in Canberra are not accessible.  Smith's Alternative is a bit more accessible than most. I will be working with Smith's to make the event just a bit more accessible.  As a producer Smith's Alternative is a really good option, as they provide a lot of the support to make each event happen, more than many other venues.  This in itself makes it accessible for me to produce a show there.  Without this support I wouldn't be able to do it.  So, it's this, or no events. 

A couple of things that help make the venue accessible is that the owners, Nigel and Beth are always around to help out. It is also known to be a safe space for queer folk. 

I will be making a film of the outside of the venue and inside so that you will be able to see what the venue is like before you attend.

Smith's Alternative is at ground level, this means mobility aid users can get in the front door.  I am not sure what way it opens at this stage, I will update when I have checked this.  The furniture is able to be moved around, which means we can move it to accommodate you.  If you are a performer, there is a ramp that goes up onto the stage.  To get to the toilets, it requires you to go up and down a few steps at the back of the venue OR you go out the front door to the left and then left again down a ramp which takes you to all the toilets.  I am told that not everyone can actually use the disabled toilet, due to the way the door opens and the angles.  Some wheelchair users are known to visit a neighbouring venue to go to the toilet.  I will provide more information after I have gone and had a proper look and filmed it all. 

I don't know if what we plan to do it considered Open Captions.  We will be projecting some text onto a film screen.  The text will be basic or abbreviated versions of what the Emcee will be saying.  It will include the performer introductions.  

We will have available a couple of large print copies of show information. 

Click on 'Map' to be taken to a link with a map of where the venue is. 

A section of the map is below.  Smith's Alternative is indicated by the red marker. 

More information to be added to this section, including car parking and photos.

Performer information

The first four shows are currently full.  

If you are interested in performing in the future, please send me an email

Below is some information about how the shows will work from the point of view of performing. 

The Queer Variety Show is for queer/LGBTIQA+  and disabled performers.  (Disabled used as an umbrella term to cover, neurodivergent folk, chronic illness, mental illness and any other disabilities).  We will occasionally have someone who does not fit this description, as we need our allies.   I am looking for performers - drag, burlesque, story tellers (this can include a coming out type of story), poets, comedians and musicians (perhaps not a full band set up, we can discuss this).  There can be no messy acts - no glitter, confetti, that type of thing and I do not have the capacity to include pole, fire acts or anything that requires extra safety.  I am also looking for Emcees.  You might also have a good film footage of you performing, we can possibly show films. You can be an experienced performer or a newbie, I'd like a range.  


In the first instance, we will be paid by ticket sales at the door, after Smiths take their cut.  I will do my best to make sure we sell those tickets.   Performers and the Emcee will be paid before anyone else is. 


As this show is to platform queer and disabled performers, I will do my best to make this as accessible as possible for you.  I also understand that people might be hesitant to apply, in case they have to pull out. I will have things in place to deal with this.  


Burlesque and drag type of acts - limit of 5 minutes

Story tellers - can go longer

Musicians - can have up to 15 minutes

Other acts - we can negotiate


There will be no rehearsals for these shows, you need to organise that for yourself. Shows are being held at Smith's Alternative in Civic.  (Canberra). There is little backstage room there, so you will need to come along with hair and makeup done and be as ready to perform as possible.  This is possibly with the exception of Burlesque performers. 

Show themes for 2024

Tuesday 18th June - no theme.

Tuesday 20th August - Theme 'Connection'.   Connections, like chain links,  connection to family,                                          connection to the earth, connection to cheese, connection to your                                                   favourite tv show or game.  Connection is just the starting point.

Tuesday 29th October - no theme

Tuesday 17th December - theme 'Beliefs'. Do you belief in kindness? Do you believe that                                                         pineapple does not belong on pizza?  Do you believe in astrology? .                                                 Beliefs is just the starting point. 

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