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

 

Fringe – Alfie Ordinary’s House of Fun

Alfie Ordinary’s House of Fun at Spiegeltent, Brighton, 6th May 2022

This year’s Brighton Fringe is well and truly off the mark, with an influx of performers descending on the city and a huge array of shows to see over the coming month. Theatre, comedy, performance – whatever makes you happy, you’ll find some of it here. And what better way to kick things off than with Fringe stalwart Alfie Ordinary at Spiegeltent. Alfie Ordinary’s House of Fun absolutely lived up to its name on Friday night, bringing ‘some of Brighton’s most beloved drag performers, Spiegel favourites and special guest clowns’ to the stage, just what the glitter doctor ordered and an opportunity to shake away the restrictions of the last couple of years; photo gallery below.

Alfie is back at Spiegeltent on 4th June with Now That’s What I Call Bingo.

Alfie Ordinary | Brighton Fringe

Words and photos by Siobhan

9th May 2022

Breaking Glass Magazine – July 2021 – music, photography & more…

Breaking Glass Magazine – June 2021

Cover image Alfie Ordinary presenting Now That’s What I Call Bingo at Spiegeltent for Brighton Fringe © 16 Beasley St Photography 

Despite ongoing restrictions, Brighton Fringe has once again pulled together a great range of shows in venues big and small across the city. Things may have been socially distanced but that didn’t detract from the performances, and the audience appreciation was clear to see. Check out our gallery of favourite productions below…

Make Up by NoLogoProductions at The Rialto

The Night Circus Cabaret at Sabai Pavilion

Dressing up Dietrich by Patricia Hartshorne at the New Steine Hotel

The Boys from The Chorus by Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus at St Nicholas Church 

The Lady in The Van by Sarah Mann Company at Brighton Open Air Theatre

Tell Me Why by NoAgEnDeR at One Church 

Warhol: Bullet Karma by Garry Roost at The Rialto 

Now That’s What I Call Bingo with Alfie Ordinary at Spiegeltent 

Electric Cabaret at Chalk 

Words and photos by Siobhan

1st July 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking Glass Magazine – June 2021 – music, photography & more…

Breaking Glass Magazine – June 2021

Cover image © 16 Beasley St Photography 

After an intrinsically difficult year for the arts, it’s great to see the buzz around the full variety of this year’s Brighton Fringe, the largest open-access arts festival in England. Welcoming all forms of art and expression, the city’s venues open up their doors to both new and established performers, offering a diverse showcase of talent across multiple genres.

Kicking off our Fringe experience in flamboyant style, Tell Me Why sees its debut at One Church with a dazzling display of sound and vision. Masterminded by creative director Mr Venus and produced by collective NoAgEnDeR, the show chronicles ‘life outside the mainstream and how it really was for marginalised individuals finding and fighting for their rights’, taking the audience on an ‘emotional roller coaster ride through queer life over the last 50 years’.

Laying bare the sometimes devastating impact of exclusion, the show nonetheless takes the opportunity to mark the historical fight for the right to self-expression and acceptance, and celebrates the lives of friends and loved ones lost along the way, a scenario likely to resonate and bring memories of their own to anyone attending.

Musically, the show is packed with anthems galore, a mix of original compositions and momentous songs from different eras. Things bode well when, on arrival, you’re greeted with a lyric print of Pete Shelley’s Homosapien on each table, a track excluded from radio airplay in the UK in the early 80s for its supposed reference to gay sex. As a solo artist and Buzzcocks’ vocalist, Shelley proved himself to be perhaps the most punk of them all, penning songs about love and relationships amidst his peer group’s cries of anarchy and oppression. 

Elsewhere, a meta moment for me as Blackman from Breaking Glass features, prompting me to rewatch the film which, despite the name, I haven’t seen for many years. The inclusion of another favourite, Suede’s Beautiful Ones is a fitting addition to the fanfare and costumery of the night and the stories it tells.

A heartfelt look back at queer culture through the years, Tell Me Why is clearly a labour of love from all involved and is really what The Fringe and inclusivity are all about – a group of friends with something to say, supporting each other to make the dream a reality and share the project on stage. Work is in progress to produce a documentary about the making of the show; let’s hope this sees the light of day and the sharing continues.

You can find more about Tell Me Why here

Words and photos © Siobhan

1st June 2021