Well m’dears after a not so great week with a big cup of anxietea I got the absolute pleasure of witnessing one of the greatest performances I’ll see for years to come!
Sasha Velour is truly one of a kind when it comes to performance and the art of drag.
Her theatrical masterpiece Smoke and Mirrors is filled to the brim with innovative lip-syncs, inspirational conversations – where you feel as though she is talking directly to you and only you and wondrous storytelling that truly does take your breath away.
Like so many others from all over the stratosphere Sasha has been positively my favourite queen since her rise to fame from winning season 9 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. The way she expressed herself through her costumes and uncanny portrayal of Marlene Dietrich on the shows Snatch Game challenge – I knew (again like so many others) she was not only going to win… But she was going to
walk sashay away a star!
And that she most certainly is!
Her first lip-sync for Smoke and Mirrors really set the tone for the entire show and my goodness! After one performance I was already floored, not actually on the floor because that’d be gross. She created a performance around one of my all-time favourite Sia songs Cellophane. A song which isn’t released, so it well and truly caught me by surprise! A combination of screens and cleverly timed projections allows her to turn a one-woman show into almost a five women show starring just her. Can you say genius? If not, I can. GENIUS!!
Sasha made it no secret that she’s a dab hand when it comes to photoshop, but seeing someone create an entire show around what they can do with an adobe product. It just shows that the limits are endless! Especially when it comes to creating a show!
Watching her as she bared her heart and soul on stage filled me with elation! Performing a magic trick by sawing a version herself in half, to then appear in the costume that the other version of herself was wearing and seeing the joy in her face as she gathers her thoughts before performing one of the most iconic songs in herstory Come Rain or Come Shine by the immortal Judy Garland; in the same theatre where she once performed that very song. She not only did this with such style but she reminds us that she has exceptional comic timing too, all this whilst accompanied by perfectly timed puddles and storm clouds!
I think it’s safe to say that Judy Garland would have been immensely proud.
I myself felt spoiled rotten! I was treated to an evening of Barbra, Bassey and that iconic Whitney Houston performance! Yes, it was emotional thank you for asking! (if you know, you know)
Yet amidst all this splendour she takes to the microphone to connect with us. Talking about battling with her own demons, struggling with depression and anxiety and how she found strength through her identity and performance (if you think this all really hit home with me, you betcha’ it did). Opening up about her wonderful mother the extraordinary Mama Velour, a woman who taught Sasha that “life is better when you express your gender with a little fluidity” and her beautiful bald head is homage to her. Mama Velour may sadly not be with us anymore, but her presence was definitely in the room with Sasha!
The whole experience is therapeutic and stirs within your soul. I’m surprised that my partner hasn’t asked me to stop talking about it yet, to say it left a lasting impression on me is an understatement.
She graciously thanked each and every one of us for being there and for supporting queer arts and the community, but it’s us who should be thanking you Sasha!
Drag is art and I’m so glad it’s bigger than ever before.
Sadly due to the corona virus her tour has had to be postponed, however when she returns to conquer Europe please buy tickets! Go; support her, her wonderful show and more importantly queer arts!
As she said, “this is drag. All you need is a little drama.”
Sasha Velour Image: Photography Copyright Jeff Eason (Source: Billboard)