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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Friday 06 March 2020

Review: Sasha Velour's Smoke and Mirrors @ Brighton Dome - 5/3/2020

RuPaul's Drag Race Season nine winner Sasha Velour sashayed away from the USA and into the very rainy UK to present her one woman show, Smoke and Mirrors, created and directed by the drag superstar herself.

The weather did little to deter Brightonians from all walks of life coming together at Brighton Dome Concert Hall to watch what would turn out to be a unique and incredibly entertaining show. 

The venue was packed and the buzz amongst the crowd was electric. The anticipation in the room was palpable.

This was the visual artist's first one woman show, following her critically acclaimed drag theatre show Nightgowns.

The show's described by Sasha as part magic show, part sexy self-help seminar, part high concept visual artistry.

She interjects the lip sync performances with monologues about how she started her drag career; coming first alternate in a Midwestern American drag pageant, queer representation and gender fluidity. 

She also touches on topics such as feminism, mental health issues, her late mother and more.

Using her background in illustration, Velour curated a video, projected on a screen at the back of the stage to act as a back drop, allowing virtual versions of Sasha to appear and help the queen onstage tell the different stories of each song she performed.

Having stated on her debut in the famous werkroom as being 'committed to being uniquely Sasha all the time', it is evidently clear that this was something that Velour has managed to maintain with ease post drag race and as an audience we were so thankful for that. 

Her wonderfully individual fashion sense had the audience audibly gasping with each reveal.

The highlight of the evening was a live recreation of her iconic lip sync from the finale of her season to Whitney Houston's So Emotional, including glove and wig rose petal reveals!

Velour commanded the stage and took us on an emotional journey bringing sadness, joy and humour to the evening in a way that only Sasha could.

By the time she was done, Sasha had the attending Brightonians on their feet, cheering loudly and the sentiment amongst the audience was unanimous;

'Sasha Velour, shantay you stay!'

Sasha Velour is on tour in the UK until 14th March 2020. CLICK HERE for more info. For details on all forthcoming Brighton Dome shows CLICK HERE.

by: Stephanie Keane


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Migrate Art, the art organisation fundraising to support displaced and homeless people, has partnered with ten major contemporary artists and illustrators to create limited editions of re-usable, reversible face masks.

Romesh Ranganathan is Straight Outta Crawley, in West Sussex, and on his last nationwide tour, Irrational, he was pondering whether he has an irrational viewpoint on the world or whether that can be attributed to absolutely everyone else.

Returning after four years away, Aidan Knight's penchant for astute observations and personal reflections remains a compelling component of his songwriting.

Young people across the UK will have the chance to find out what it's like to be a record label boss, a film director or a theatre producer through a new podcast series from Lookout that brings together industry professionals from stage, screen and music to share their invaluable insights and experience on how to get into the creative industries.
Credit J. Taylor

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Credit Andrew Gambling

The South Downs National Park photo competition is now open, with a first prize of £250 on offer to the amateur or professional photographer who best captures this year's theme of 'My tranquil haven'.

"In rock music, it's really easy to talk about partying and shagging girls and all that kind of stuff," says Skunk Anansie vocalist Skin. "But for us, what we were singing about had to be deeper, it had to mean something. We had to talk about our experiences and what we were going through."

Throughout COVID-19 isolation, everyone has become aware of the supportive and stimulating power of music. Although many people want to learn, they have no access to musical instruments or tuition - especially with schools and shops currently closed. 
Credit: Andy Sturmey

Barely a year since their debut album Dogrel, Dublin's Fontaines D.C. are set to return with A Hero's Death.

The Rec Rooms is an independent music and comedy venue in Horsham, West Sussex, which was opened by three locals just over eighteen months ago. 

This Saturday, 30th May, Together Co, the Brighton & Hove based charity that exists to end loneliness, is hosting a virtual music festival that will see more than twenty bands perform for free to raise money to help the most vulnerable and isolated.  

Following Brighton Festival's digital programme during lockdown, poet and author Lemn Sissay MBE has confirmed he will return as guest director in 2021. 

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