Brighton Fringe – Tell Me Why

Tell Me Why at Ironworks Studio, Brighton, 21st May 2022

Almost exactly a year ago I went along to see one of the Fringe shows I was booked to photograph, an extravaganza of costume and song called Tell Me Why. Taking a journey through queer culture over the years, I was struck by how much effort had been poured into making the show happen, despite Covid restrictions and lack of funding, a true labour of love.

So twelve months on, lottery funding approved, a new venue and a new set secured, how would things look this year? It proved such a pleasure to be back to see on one hand the difference, and on the other the same vein of commitment to the cause running strongly through the whole show.

Brought to life by Mr Venus and the NoAgEnDeR collective, the outfits were fantastic, the soundtrack filled with original music coupled with tunes still so evocative of various eras and memories – McLaren’s Madame Butterfly and Shelley’s Homosapien amongst the mix. And contemplate for a second if you will the jeopardy of partnering six inch heels with a revolving stage; if that doesn’t impress you nothing will. Thankfully no ankles were harmed in the making of the show, kudos to all involved.

Throughout all the stunning visuals though, a reminder that over the years and even now, communities are and have been marginalised purely because of their beliefs, their sexuality, the colour of their skin. A message of solidarity and support, a shout out that this isn’t and never was OK and that there is a place in society for everyone, however they present.

Tell Me Why is a celebration of diversity; its success a testament to all the hard work that’s gone into making it happen and all those who believed in it. A makeover to be proud of.

Words and photos by Siobhan

25th May 2022