Brighton Magazine

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Sunday 29 July 2018

Review: Bianca Del Rio @ The Brighton Centre

She's been called 'The Joan Rivers of the Drag World', and when it comes to snarky frankness, impeccable comedic timing, and politically incorrect humour, American born Bianca Del Rio has it all. But could she win over a packed house at The Brighton Centre? We sent along Stephanie Keane to find out ....

Thirty-three year old Roy Haylock, better known by the stage name Bianca Del Rio, came to promenance after winning the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race.

The ultra-talented performer can also boast a CV that includes success as a comedian, actor, and costume designer.

But it's on the stage that Bianca Del Rio excels and waves of anticipation were awash pre-performance at The Brighton Centre, last Saturday night.

Proceedings kicked off with Sherry Vine - a self confessed old school drag queen who's been sleazing around the New York City drag scene for a quarter-of-a-century (and also a mentor to tonight's headliner). 

She made her grand entrance belting out Welcome to Burlesque, from the movie Burlesque, her seasoned vocals carrying the power and talent that wouldn't go amiss on Broadway - but tonight's show is far too risque for such an audience. 

Blending well known pop songs with vulgar lyrics, the audience was in hysterics whilst being treated to numbers such as Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah (in this case How I Blew Ya) and Britney Spears' Toxic

A forty minute set flew by and I hope she'll be back headlining her own Brighton show soon.

After a refreshingly short break, the familiar voice of RuPaul was played over the speakers, reminding the audience to switch off their phones and giving a disclaimer that the easily offended should think twice about staying. 

Taking to the stage in a beautiful black floor length sequinned gown with pink sequinned floral embellishment, matching pink hair piece and the makeup that has become her trademark.

Even though the set's opening sentences are all warnings about how unashamedly non-PC the following material will be, most people will still be shocked by the gags of the ever-popular female impersonator.  


Having explained that she's an equal opportunity hater, 'I hate everyone', Bianca Del Rio went on to make jokes about sexual orientation, size, race, and even delved into the world of politics. 

She apologised for Donald Trump: "He's a reverse racism raccoon with his orange face and white eyes, plus he has a prolapsed anus for a mouth and you know it's prolapsed cos he's always talking shit." 

Bianca went on to criticise Theresa May: "In that dress with those diamond shoes you look fierce but you're still a f*cking c*nt."

Bianca also weighed-in on the show (RuPaul's Drag Race) that propelled her to global stardom, stating that she can't deal with the fuckery of it and that they should have stopped after her season as it was the last one with talent. 

Speaking about this year's All Stars season three, Bianca let us her know her thoughts on the winner, Trixie Mattel 'she's neither skinny, nor a legend' and that her friend Shangela was robbed without having to physically say the words 'all I need to say is Halleloo' ...

The audience were onside but never more so than with the closing part of the act, a Q&A type session where the questions were supplied by those who'd upgraded to VIP status (she'd already made it clear she doesn't speak to people in the 'cheap seats' .. "I have your money but I don"' hear you"). 

Bianca was asked about makeup, what she'd like for Christmas (from a man calling himself, and resembling, Santa) and to cap it off was asked to officiate an upcoming gay wedding. 

She happily obliged and said she looked forward to it before throwing the invite to the floor and giving the audience a knowing look!

Bianca Del Rio's comedy is not for the faint hearted and that's what we've come to love her for; her unashamedly twisted 'hateful' jokes. It's what we wanted from her and that's exactly what she gave us. In spades. 

As the audience gave her a standing ovation, there was one theme floating in the collective air... our sides hurt from laughing so much and we could all Blame it on Bianca Del Rio ..

by: Stephanie Keane




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credit Andy Willsher

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(c) The Unthanks 2018

The Emily Brontë Song Cycle is a new work commissioned by the Brontë Society, written and recorded using Emily Brontë’s piano in her home, by composer, pianist and producer Adrian McNally of the band The Unthanks, and performed with sisters Rachel & Becky Unthank.

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