steakhouse live

Steakhouse Live’s Katy Baird on the most outré festival in town

Katy Baird - Promo Image for Workshy

Katy Baird – Promo Image for Workshy

We caught up with the artist and producer Katy Baird to talk about Steakhouse Live a madcap 24 hour festival party full of the strange wonderful world of new Live art and performance.

It’s happening this week from Friday-Sunday around East London so be sure to get tickets here.

You can either get individual tickets if you want to dip your toe into Steakhouse or dive in and see everything for just £35/32.

Steakhouse Live | Fri 14-Sun 16 October 2016 | ArtsAdmin, RichMix and The Yard Theatre | Prices Vary from £10

Tell us about Steakhouse Live. How did the festival come about?

Steakhouse Live is an art collective committed to creating new spaces and contexts to experience Live Art and performance. We initially got together because we were exasperated that so many of the artists whose work we loved and respected were not getting enough opportunities to present in London – so we decided to stop feeling pissed off and just do it ourselves! Since then we have worked with over 100 artists and put on close to 25 events.

Our yearly festival is one of the few DIY platforms for radical performance practices in London. We deliberately embrace a diversity of different artistic practices so work cuts across performance art, theatre, visual art, cabaret, sculpture, dance, drag and participatory performance.

This is our fourth year and our most ambitious! With around 30 artists performing across three East London locations – Rich Mix, The Yard and Toynbee Studios- over three days, 14-16 October! See the full programme here

Steakhouse Live 2016 from katy baird on Vimeo.

Tell us about a few of the artists’ work you’re most looking forward to.

This year we have, for the first time, commissioned two artists to work on developing new work for the festival.

On Friday the artist Owen G Parry will present a one-hour edit of a performance related to his ongoing research into Fandom.

Owen G.Parry, 2015 - Image by Maria Agiomyrgiannaki

Owen G.Parry, 2015 – Image by Maria Agiomyrgiannaki

Then on Saturday our second commissioned artist Emma Swelyn will be performing a short work entitled ‘My Hands and Feet are Wiggling’. Emma is a recent graduate from the Performance Making Diploma run by Access All Areas at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and her work looks at ideas around autism, gender and sexuality. As part of the commission she has been working with Hester Chilingworth from GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN fame and I am really excited to see how both these pieces have developed.

If you could ask our new mayor of London Sadiq Khan one question what would it be?

I would ask him what he is actually going to do to halt the death of independent, alternative and queer spaces in London. I would tell him that legendary venues like the Royal Vauxhall Tavern need more than just words to save them from getting turned into commercial strip clubs. I would tell him that places like these are what make London special and if we keep going on like this it will just be an empty husk of a city. The problem is of course there are so many vested interests behind closed doors and so much money involved that it is doubtful that Sadiq Khan can do actually do anything, look at the disgraceful closure of Fabric and the complete failure Knickerbockeron his part to do anything. So I would ask him just to be honest and say if there is actually anything he can do or is it all just the usual political bullshit lip service!

W hat are your favourite free and cheap things to do in London?

I gotta give a shout out to my boys at Knickerbocker, the queer performance dance party which happens at the Yard in Hackney Wick the second Friday in even months, they keep it real and only charge £4 before 12pm! I am resident artist there so you also get to see me do my stuff on occasion.

I usually keep an eye on what events Something Human are doing, also Toppohobia, and the recent Lime-in-Aid performance nights are worth going to. I just found out about about The Cocoa Butter Club and I am excited to check that out. CUNTemporary do a really brilliant newsletter related to art events in London so well worth signing up. Music Day UK events are almost always free and always great for a dance! The HIVE community space in Dalston has a really varied programme of events, workshops and gigs.

My other job is at the Live Art Development Agency and we are always organising free screenings, talks and events. I can’t miss out DUCKIE – which is, and always will be my favourite night out in London! Oh and I drink cheap whiskey in Wetherspoons a lot!

Find out more about Steakhouse Live

Main image for article is of Soren Evinson and Charlie Hope‘s work