The much loved LGBTI+ charity event Club West set to return in 2021

Perth’s long running and much loved charity event Club West is set to return in 2021 after a seven and half a year hiatus.

The long running event was a staple of Perth’s LGBTI nightlife for 24 years before the final curtain came down in 2013. At the time Club West matriarch and part-time go-go dancer Terry Larder cited his professional retirement and rising costs as the reason for the end of the institution, but now he says the time is right to bring it back.

Club West will make its return in 2021 at The Astor Theatre and tickets will go on sale in coming weeks. Given the events long running popularity they are expected to sell-out in record time.

Established in 1989 the regular event would bring together all parts of the LGBTI community to enjoy each other company, a mix of entertainment and dancing while raising money for worthy causes. Over the years Club West saw welcomed many high profile entertainers, but equally part of its charm was a mix of local amateurs who delivered outrageous, ridiculous and comical production numbers.

“Why I decided to start it up is, I’m so sick of seeing Daniel Andrews on a podium looking gloomy, I’m so sick of Channel 7 producing stories about royals… and making useless inane programs about nothing. It’s the same news every night, I feel like a gulag prisoner!” Terry said, of his decision to bring back the fun, camp and adored community event.

Terry notes that after its hiatus a whole new generation of people will be able to experience Club West for the first time.

“It’s true, and I want to connect with those people because nowadays we take for granted how connected we can be through all those digital platforms and emails, you can reach a much more broader audience. easily.” Terry said recalling that when the event started there was no social media or online communication channels.

“Club West has always been non ageist, someone who is 18+ mingles with someone who is 60+, and it’s one of the great places where its a mix of gay and straight, but also gay men and lesbian women party hard.”

The event has always had a strong connection with Perth’s deaf community as well, it was the first event in Australia to always include deaf signers in the production. Terry comments that in today’s world of daily Covid-19 briefings deaf signers have become part of our everyday lives but three decades ago it was a rarity.

“When I came from Sydney in 1988 and worked as a volunteer for the WA AIDS Council I saw there was a need to inject a bit of fun into what was at that stage quite a disasterous turn from the previous decade.”

For many years Club West made its home at the Italian Club in West Perth, but for its return it’s found a new home at the Astor Theatre in Mount Lawley. Terry shared that the availability of the theatre was one of the key factors in the decision to revive the event, as it will reduce costs because staging and lighting already exists in the venue.

Already signed up to perform at the return event is Strykermeyer, drag performer Swish Eveready and a host of other performers eager to grace the Club West stage once again.

Tickets are on sale now at astortheatreperth.com

Graeme Watson


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