This May, The Marlborough Theatre presents a tantalising transformation of the famously all-inclusive venue, curated and hosted by its co-director/founder Tarik Elmoutawakil. From Thursday to Saturdays (and some Sundays) The Marlborough hosts a queer, Afro-futuristic inspired speakeasy for Brighton Fringe 2019. Tarik is thrilled to bring us the rare opportunity to hear some of society’s more marginalised voices to collectively envision a utopian haven. Crystalz Tavern sets itself apart by providing a platform for a talented collective of intersectional queer peers to express themselves within a radically supportive environment, centring the voices of black and brown, queer, trans and intersex performers as well as audiences. Crystalz Tavern brings together some of the UK’s leading interdisciplinary black and brown live art/cabaret performers to Brighton over the course of the month, to share the stage with established and up and coming local Brighton performers as well as visiting talent from across the festival.

Crystalz Tavern also acts as an Artists Residency, with different queer artists of colour in residence each week, developing new boundary breaking work in a supportive environment. Lasana Shabazz, Symoné, XANA, Ebony Rose Dark, and The Astrothot will be dazzling crowds with performances encompassing vogue ball beatbox/loop pedal, drag, spoken word, circus skills, pole dancing and live art in this “Cabaret of Camaraderie”. Performances take place between 7 and 9pm, before the venue evolves into a queer crystalline disco.

The Marlborough is working with young designer Jack Poole of Poile Art, who fuses engineering and creativity to create new ways to engage with the public and who will turn the theatre space into a crystal cavern meets old world Tavern, using their hand made installation pieces. Local artists involved in the festival include Subira, Harry Clayton Wright, Noé Warren and Vlad Von Kitsch, all of whom are groundbreaking artists in the their own rights. To keep you cool amongst such hot talent, The Marlborough Theatre is serving exclusive Crystal themed cocktails in a pop-up bar in the transformed theatre space. These top secret recipes are kept under lock and key in true speakeasy fashion. We have been told these delectable indulgences won’t disappoint.

Having spoken to Tarik to find out more, BN1 Magazine is told to expect a “ throbbing neon lighthouse guiding you to a space of safety, away from the jagged rocks of late-stage capitalism. A speakeasy that heals the wounded and holds the oppressor to account. Featuring a shifting constellation of the UK’s best live art/cabaret performers and guest DJs.”

Crystalz Tavern will be available every Thursday through to Saturday throughout May, visit the Marlborough’s website for the venue.

Marlborough Theatre, 4 Princes Street, Brighton, BN2 1RD, Tel: 01273 273870

Thurs 3 – Sat, Thurs 9 – Sat 11, Thurs 16 – Sat 18, Thurs 23 – Sun 26 May

Performances: 7pm-9pm, with Crystal Disco lasting until 11pm. Tickets: £10, £5 Concession.

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