The show was beautifully organised by Eat Sleep Drag Repeat, envisioned by Director Mike Pony in 2015 in order to present stars from Rupaul’s Drag Race and also showcase the very best of diverse UK drag talent.
In doing so, bringing a drag queen show to a venue that usually hosts electronic and grime nights is such an achievement and deserves to be acknowledged as a successful attempt of promoting the pivotal role of drag culture in our society.
Ferranti, F. (2018) Alfie Ordinary performing as Lumière at SWX.
The show was hosted by Brighton-based Drag Prince Alfie Ordinary, who came on stage with a gorgeous sequin suit by @theparlourbybillie and a candlestick hat by @bamhatter, performing an extraordinary version of Be Our Guest from one of my favourite Disney masterpieces Beauty and The Beast.
He was featured on stage by fellow “cabaret reprobate and Drag somethingorother” Mister Joe Black (@misterjoeblack) in the role of Mrs Potts and by amazing voguers such as Lottie Ball, Lucien Chadwick and Danny Thompson.
Courtesy of Alfie Ordinary. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v277tgAvUE0 .
Velma Von Bon Bon. Courtesy of Timothy Jones (http://www.jonesmrjones.co.uk)
Next up was burlesque performer Velma Von Bon Bon: presenting herself as a “Veritable Tour De Force in Neo- Burlesque hilarity, she has been voted top 10 UK Burlesque Performers for the past three years running by readers of 21st Century Burlesque Magazine.
She performed a number entitled The Village Unicycle, a tribute to legendary New York disco group Village People, which perfectly blended together sexy and fun.
Courtesy by Velma Bon Bon, available from: https://vimeo.com/223885200
Moving on with the show, it was the turn of Toronto-born performer Victoria Sin (@sinforvictory), who use drag “as a practice of purposeful embodiment questioning the reification and ascription of ideal images within technologies of representation and systems of looking”.
Their drag persona is an incredible mix of Jessica Rabbit, Marlene Dietrich and all the female divas of the 50s-60s: they embody the fact they are ” a performative girl in a normative world”, exploring femininity in a purposefully exaggerating way.
Furthermore, I believe that it is important to recall an interview which Victoria did on misogyny and racism in queer spaces for Nowness in 2017.
Courtesy of Nowness from the first episode of Define Gender (2017), directed by Amrou Al-Kadhi. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YstfHxdwYWQ
Ferranti, F (2018) Victoria Sin performing on stage.
Finally, Sasha came on stage with a beautiful red dress and nude pumps, performing a mix of Shirley Bassey’s 1959 hit song As I love you and after the reveal as a gorgeous Lady Gollum lip-syncing to the notes of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights in a new brown dress by @florencedlee.
For the second act, Sasha made an emotional tribute to one of her favourite artists, lip-syncing to Barbra Streisand’s 1963 hit I stayed too long at the fair.
To conclude the show, Sasha performed another mashup of Marlene Dietrich’s Illusions and LeTigre’s Deceptacon: I was really captured by her last Gaultier-inspired outfit by @florencedlee, featuring leopard print gloves by @wingweftgloves and hair by @marcoswigs.
Ferranti, F. (2018) Sasha Velour in the Dietrich-LeTigre’s mashup.
This event made me realise the power of drag culture in its infinite aspects: bio queens, drag kings, drag queens, drag monsters coming together on a stage to spread their message.
Visit http://www.esdrevents.co.uk for future shows.