- July 19, 2021
Brighton Palace Pier has a great history of variety entertainment, are you excited about bringing that back in PierFest?
I’m thrilled to be bringing variety back to the pier. Over the years it saw some of the greatest international stars tread the boards there. People like Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame and Charlie Chaplin appeared on the pier before finding international stardom in Hollywood.
Variety has been on the back burner for over 50 years now, but recently fringe events have re-invented variety in a cabaret format. Do you think that it is time for a re-emergence.
It’s amazing to see so many variety acts finding a new home and a new audience through fringe venues, and from fringe some have even found a new home in London’s West End. It proves that the time is right for variety and for a new generation of variety acts.
Your event on Brighton Palace Pier includes a diverse bill of acts, tell us something about the performers that you have included?
We have pulled together a very diverse variety bill. Jamie John is an extraordinary talent, a star of many pantomimes but also a star in his own right, the only dwarf drag queen in the UK but also a great singer with a voice that will blow you away. And he will be joined on stage for an act that will have the audience in stitches, think strictly… No variety bill should be without a ventriloquist and Emily Brown is exceptional, classic skills but with some contemporary twists that will not only entertain the audience but involve them too. Jason Lee is a singer with a great voice and a charming personality and the audience is going to love him and of course he will be performing period songs from the great age of variety and music hall. Drew Cameron is comedian and impressionist who came to the nation’s attention on Britain’s Got Talent. In 2013 he was voted Best Variety act in the National Entertainment Awards and he is famous for his uncanny impressions of Mr Bean, Uncle Albert, Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Caine, Del Boy, Manuel, Victor Meldrew and Ali G. And of course no Old Time Music Hall would be complete without a slice of Marie Lloyd, here performed by Lorrie Brown.
Your role of course is as the host but fans will definitely want to see some of your own work. Will you be engaging with the audience in your usual cheeky and irreverent style and will you be treating them to some songs too?
Well I will of course be adding my own sprinkling of seaside sauce and a few songs yes, but you will have to wait and see exactly what…
Will the show be a slice of period nostalgia or will you be bringing to it a sense of contemporary entertainment?
We all think that we want to create a sense of nostalgia but there will be a contemporary slant too, that is inevitable as we are there to entertain a contemporary audience.
How much of of your alter ego Miss Jason is a fiction and how much is based on you?
Oh Miss Jason is pure fiction, believe that if you will.
You are already a well known performer on the LGBTQ+ cabaret scene but you have also performed as an actor with shows that have been seen at fringe festivals including Edinburgh Fringe. Do you enjoy diversifying as a performer?
I do enjoy theatre and I love playing other characters, it stretches me!
Some of us will remember the BBC series The Good Old Days, filmed at Leeds City Variety Theatre and hosted by Leonard Sax. Sax would introduce each act with an eloquent and alliterative trade mark speech. Will you be attempting to do the same in tribute to him?
I’m not sure I will be able to get my tongue around that, that sounds more like a line from Miss Jason than from me, but I will be doing my own act as chair person and not an impression of the inimitable Leonard Sax.
Finally Jason, corsets, will you be lacing up and pinching in for this nostalgic extravaganza?
How dare you, I am a perfect size 10 and my undergarments are my very own affair! You’d better get booking to find that out!
Miss Jason’s Old Time Music Hall
28 September 8pm