Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 23 September 2021

Superstar Of Hollywood's Golden Era Marlene Dietrich Is Set To Shine Again In Brighton This Weekend

Marlene Dietrich was undoubtedly a superstar of Hollywood's Golden Era – but she was much more than that. 

By constantly reinventing herself, Dietrich stretched her career over sixty years becoming a pioneering star of radio, a medal-winning war hero, a top flight international cabaret artist, a big-selling recording star and an icon for generations of gay people round the world. 

Marlene started her career as a chorus girl during the era of "divine decadence" in 1920s Weimar Berlin. 

The freewheeling approach to sexuality during that period suited her very well – she embraced the sexual liberation enthusiastically and never abandoned it through her long life. 

Her many lovers included men and women, and she never apologised or tried to hide her preferences.


Famed as much for wearing men's clothes as being a femme fatale, Dietrich's cosmopolitan, sexually ambiguous and world-weary persona inspired many artists who followed. Madonna, Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue and a thousand drag queens – they have all tried to channel Dietrich's special allure. 

But there's nothing like the real thing and a new show about her life will take a look at her lesbian exploits, her film career and her later success as a concert artist. 

It will pay tribute to her amazing courage during World War Two. Her anti-Nazi activism on the European battlefront brought her top medals from the USA and France. 

Veteran gay activist Terry Sanderson, who will present the show, said: 

"Marlene has always had a big attraction for the gay community. 

"The campness of her films, her devil-may-care attitude to convention (she was the first to popularise trouser-wearing for women; a novelty that almost got her arrested in post-war Paris), and her fabulous voice are just some of the reasons." 

During her early years in Weimar Berlin, Dietrich enjoyed the thriving gay scene of the time and was popular at the many drag balls and gay clubs that were popular before the Nazis came to power. 

Mr Sanderson said: 

"Marlene Dietrich was a woman of enormous complexity, and this exploration of her life will show some aspects that are less well known, including her affairs with women, among whom were Edith Piaf and Colette. 

"She is one of the few Hollywood icons who led something of an open gay life herself." 

The show will include a full performance of Dietrich's fabulous one-woman show, with which she toured the world - accompanied by Burt Bacharach and his orchestra. 

Marlene Dietrich- Ultimate Gay Icon will be presented at The Sussex, 17 St Catherines Terrace, Hove, on Sunday 26 September at 7pm. Admission £10 (including a glass of fizz) – all proceeds to the Sussex Beacon, an HIV advice and advocacy service. More information from Terry Sanderson 020 8998 1519.

by: Mike Cobley




Share    

Credit Tony Fletcher

There had to be more to life than this: the path well trodden and the one-way road to adult Armageddon. And for an excitement/idealistic driven bunch of then just turned-teenage schoolboys there was a way out of the everyday mundane.
Credit Amartey Golding

Artist Amartey Golding's largest work to date - which will be on display at Brighton's Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, next month - encompasses an ornate handcrafted garment, two films and a photographic series that applies rituals of healing to the concept of White British Trauma. 
Credit Ross Shewry-Maryan

A deputy headteacher from Hastings raised over £1,500 for the NSPCC by taking part in the London Marathon.
Is It Crap? (2021) Pilot Episode

Only half of the British public currently engage with art institutions. What happens when 'the other half' come face to face with contemporary art and tell us what they really think?

The UK's biggest city-wide beer festival, Tap Takeover, will return to Brighton this month, following a two year hiatus.
Credit Carlotta Luke

The latest stage in the refurbishment of Brighton Dome Corn Exchange has seen the completion of extensive repairs to keep the 200 year-old Grade I listed building safe, and preserved as part of the city's history.

Brighton-based Holiday Ghosts mine the works of eras past to cast the best of artists such as The Kinks, Violent Femmes, Alex Chilton and Modern Lovers as a backdrop onto which they deconstruct myriad social issues.

Award-winning songwriter Scott Matthews was forced to scale a musical Everest due to Covid-19, setting himself the challenge of writing his very first electronica album.

Following the success of a selection of pop-up busking appearances across the UK, including Falmouth for the G7 Summit, Isle Of Wight, Cambridge, Winchester and many more, country-pop duo Ward Thomas continue the run with a selection of dates in October. 

This month, Brighton gaming studio MAG launches environment-focused events through the UN gaming initiative Playing For The Planet to draw attention to the preservation of the world's ocean and coral reefs.

The route to Laura Marling's current album Song For Our Daughter, which brings her to Brighton Dome next week, began in the wake of touring Semper Femina, when Laura stepped away from both her record label and her management, and for the first time in many years found herself without any firm idea of her future.
Credit Carys Reilly

Fabrica's new Brighton-based exhibition Strange Relations by artists Simon Le Boggit and Carys Reilly explores extremity and diversity as two interlinked themes, and invites audiences to experience work of an extremely large scale and that at a tiny, intimate size. 

This year's Autumn Show & Game Fair offered visitors the chance once again to 'Have a go' at a selection of countryside sports and activities.
Credit Theatre Of Dark Encounters

Ghost hunters will get the chance to explore one of the most haunted houses in the UK this autumn as Michelham Priory House & Gardens in East Sussex hosts a series of spine-chilling events, as well as a family-friendly Halloween Weekend.

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd