Sarah Harrington writes
Don’t tell me that you haven’t sat bolt upright in bed at 4 o’clock in the morning and cried “my life is lacking in good, wholesome, community-based drag queens” because, frankly, I won’t believe you. It’s precisely what your life is missing.
Bella Cielo has just celebrated its first birthday. Cake and nipple tassels were present at the event, but it’s not too late for you to join the party! Bella Cielo is a cabaret night in Bath rooted in celebrating the LGBT community with acts ranging from dance to comedy, to lip-synching to…audience participation. In the classic Bella Cielo fashion, there is not a vicious queen to be found, nor an ushering of shaking heads onto stage. It’s a rock-up, relax, laugh and possibly share a Caxton Pink and White Wafer with a nun.
The evening was hosted by Miss Candy Flipp and Joshua Beau Jangles, a straight-talking comedy duo. The sort of duo you wished had been in your GCSE maths classroom adding a bit of sunshine to the otherwise sepia room. Joining them onstage was Mattonna, Kay Kay, Cici Noir, Beth Hodd, Sugar High, Dante Inferno, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Yonic (who, as per, smashed it. Check out our previous issue where we review her excellent new album, Lips Unsealed).
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence require a special nod from me, just because I liked them so much. The soft Scottish voice of the hosting Sister, during their homage to Julian Clary’s Sticky Moments, added hilarity to the outrageous comments she managed to slip in. Think Mrs. Doubtfire, combined with your year 2 teacher, combined with a nun with a full-grown beard and you’re halfway there. They combatted freaking out the crowd with the words audience participation by only choosing audience members that indicated their willingness by grabbing as bags of Haribo dangled in front of them by the Sisters. This feeling of safety where you sat in a crowd that ultimately had your back added so much to the evening. People were game. Not simply game to get up on stage, but game enough to chat to you, or at least to smile as they handed you their last Rizla. To visit a community that pays attention to one another, who half close their eyes as they nod to the issues of toilets for their trans friends and the self-questioning that accompanies heteronormative relationships for bisexual individuals. But this crowd will also turn up to your birthday party, making a hell of an effort with their costume. No one is claiming to be more ‘woke’, more sustainable, more vegan, what have you. They’re just a good bunch of people. Friends that will shut up and listen when you have bad news and will also turn up to celebrate your good news. That’s what Bella Cielo has; so welcome to the party.
Bella Cielo will be gracing us with its presence again on the 19th July in the Love Lounge (situated at the back of the garden at the Bell Inn).