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Nando Messias: Where 4 Roads Meet: Death and The Sissy at Toynbee Studios

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Time 19:30
Date 12/10/17
Price £12

Nando Messias stages a funeral for his Sissy persona alongside a temporary museum documenting the story of the Sissy thus far.

Says Nando of this new work: ‘After so many years working with this fantastically strange character, Sissy, I find myself wondering, do I really have to move on? But then so many people in this world want to see the Sissy dead, and I can’t just dismiss that, I need to understand them.’

Nando Messias, whose work combines theatre, dance and live art, has created considerable awareness as a result of his Sissy trilogy over the past decade. Highlighting daily realities of macho rejection in his inaugural work Sissy! in 2010, fueled by responses to his walk, he went on to promenade defiantly through Britain’s homophobic crime scenes with a marching band in tow in The Sissy’s Progress in 2015 and 2016, making national headlines. Last autumn, the carnivalesque Shoot the Sissy toured live art venues and festivals across the UK to critical acclaim. This was then filmed by artist Sam Williams and premiered by Live Art Development Agency at their LADA Screens event and online.

In Where 4 Roads Meet: Death and the Sissy, Nando marks the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of some homosexual acts by imagining it’s all over, presenting the most spectacular of funerals confronting the social disappearance of the Sissy persona.

The scene is a place where four roads meet, a site of memory, death, meaning and rebirth. How does the Sissy die? What is its legacy? With characteristic precision, elegance and authenticity, Where 4 Roads Meet: Death and the Sissy bring us face to face with the urgent danger of our times in a definitive one-off event.  
Alongside the performance stands a Museum of the Sissy, a curiosity cabinet for the genuine and the phenomenal. Nando plans to raise money for LGBT+ charities via the sale of the glamorous gowns and shoes which have seen his ‘Sissy’ persona through many incarnations. He is also looking into charities which help those affected by assaults.
 
Nando says: ‘Looking back at a history spattered with queer corpses, I feel a need to commemorate and celebrate what I can. It’s a past that’s in danger of being erased, but I’ve also needed to find something new. I think everyone can understand that dilemma.’
 
Originally from Brazil, Nando Messias went to Drama school graduating with a first-class honours degree in acting. Classically trained as a dancer, he moved to London to pursue a master's degree in performance followed by a PhD at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, completing his research in 2011. Nando Messias has performed extensively at many key arts spaces: the Victoria and Albert Museum, Hayward Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Tanks, Roundhouse, Royal Vauxhall Tavern and ICA. He has worked internationally in France, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Portugal, Brazil, Chile, the United States and Japan.

Where 4 Roads Meet: Death and the Sissy is presented by And What? Festival and supported by Arts Council England, Artsadmin, LADA, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Queen Mary University of London.
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COMPETITION: Win 1x pair of tickets to attend Nando Messias: Where 4 Roads Meet: Death and The Sissy at Toynbee Studios at 19:30 on Thursday 12 October. To enter the competition, send an email to jamie@run-riot.com with the correct answer in the ‘subject’ line. The winner will be randomly selected.
Q: Where 4 Roads Meet: Death and The Sissy marks the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of some homosexual acts. After the act was passed in 1967, the age of consent for homosexual men was 21. Which year did the age of consent become 16 - no matter what your sexuality?
A: .1) 1969 .2) 1984 .3) 1997 .4) 2000