Update since this interview was first published: on 11 June 2017, Spice won the Special Community Fundraising Award at this year’s Golden Handbag awards in Brighton. Congratulations, Spice – so well deserved!
For those of you who went to last year’s fantastic Bear-B-Que, we’ve ramped it up several notches this year with a raft of live entertainment in the park including the fabulous Spice, who will also be performing at our Welcome Night. We talked with Spice to find out more …
Can you please tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
My name is Spice and I’ve been performing cabaret for a good few years now (more than I’d care to admit!) and absolutely love it! My performance style is relaxed and eclectic, performing music from across the spectrum. I think it’s important to listen to the audience and see where they want to go during a show – showtunes, disco, big band, whatever. Sometimes we end up in some unusual places, but that keeps things fresh and keeps me on my toes.
I keep my beard when I work and so I describe myself as a sort of “gender-discombobulator” – drag is all about bending the rules and colouring outside the lines. It’s probably my favourite part of it.
Where do you usually perform?
You can find me all over Brighton. Some of my favourite venues are The Queens Arms, The Zone Bar, The Grosvenor and Bar Broadway. Most often though, you can find me at The Bedford Tavern where I am resident drag queen as well as the Sunday Lunch chef. In the past, I have performed everywhere from The Theatre Royal to the tail-lift on the back of a lorry, so you really never know where I’m going to pop up.
Can you please tell us about your upcoming appearances at Brighton Bear Weekend? What are you looking forward to most?
I am so excited about Brighton Bear Weekend! I shall be welcoming everyone on Friday at the Welcome Night at Bar Revenge with some cabaret and shenanigans, and I’m sure I will be joining the Bear-a-oke on Saturday night at Bar Broadway for a bit of a sing-song. But I have to say, I am most excited about performing at the Bear-B-Que on Saturday afternoon in Dorset Gardens – bears and burgers, sunshine and songs… what’s not to love? I may also be popping along to the Quiz at the Camelford Arms on Thursday, but I’ll be incognito in case I embarrass myself and come last!
How long have you been in Brighton, and what do you like best about living here?
I’ve been in Brighton since 2001 and like so many others, I came for the weekend and never looked back. Brighton is such an eclectic mix of people and cultures so there is always something new to experience, particularly in the summer when it seems not a weekend goes by without some celebration or festival to go to. The LGBTQ scene here has always been an inclusive and friendly place to be and there really is something for everyone. But the best part is that everyone really is welcome everywhere – whichever part of the LGBTQ rainbow you most identify with we all mix it up together, support one another and have plenty of fun doing it.
Any other exciting plans in the near future?
After Brighton Bear Weekend, we have Brighton Pride on the horizon. In recent years I’ve stuck to events away from the crowds, but this year I have decided to go all in. I am in the parade, performing in the Legends Cabaret Big Top in the park, hosting the Queens Arms street party and turning up at loads of fundraising gigs across the city all week. After all that, I’ll probably need to lie down in a darkened room for rest of the summer to recover!
Have a fantastic and safe Brighton Bear Weekend, and I can’t wait to see you all there!
Spice will be performing at the following events during Brighton Bear Weekend 2017:
- Friday 16 June, 7:00-11:00pm: Welcome Night and Cabaret at Bar Revenge.
- Saturday 17 June, 12:30-5:30pm: Bear-B-Que and Picnic in Dorset Gardens.
- Saturday 17 June, 5:30-8:30pm: Bear-a-oke at Bar Broadway.
For more information about any of these events, click the icons to view the Facebook event pages, or see our programme of events for the weekend.
You can follow Spice on Twitter.