Elevate heads to the Blackpool Tower | Brass Bands England

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Elevate heads to the Blackpool Tower

Tuesday, 12 December, 2023

The first round of BBE’s ‘Elevate’ programme will see Jamie Sophia Fletcher (Director) and the Freckleton Band produce a celebration of brass bands, drag cabaret and queer culture. 

The performance will take place on Thursday 14 March 2024 at The Fifth Floor, which is located within the iconic Blackpool Tower. Venue doors will open from 19:30, with the performance due to start at 20:00.

BBE’s Chief Operating Officer Sarah Baumann commented: ‘We are so excited that the very first Elevate partnership has kicked off to such an exciting, diverse start. Witnessing the creative collaboration between Jamie and Freckleton has been fantastic, and seeing their ideas come to life will be a terrific night of entertainment.”

She continued: “This collaboration also demonstrates BBE’s commitment to diversity, challenging ourselves and the sector to broaden the artists and genres we work with. Elevate is much more than just the final performance, and along with this rounds’ theme BBE will be programming members resources and webinars on LGBTQ+ themes including trans awareness, to support the banding sector to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible.”

Meet your hosts

Fronting the event will be two leading UK drag artists, Len Blanco and Donna Trump. 

Len is a drag king, musician, comedian and performance-maker from Cardiff, best known for their satirical ex-boyband character and his original pop songs. Len is also a lover of the unruly and improvised at the cabaret shows and immersive events they perform in. Len’s work is about querying and challenging the gender binary through singing, pointing, laughing and winking.

Donna is a singer, lip-syncer, and comedian who describes herself as ‘a child who has been let loose in the toy box – imagination has no bounds and the way you connect things is so bonkers that it makes sense only to the few sometimes!’. She is influenced by theatre practitioners such as Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud – causing a reaction, emotion or retaliation is something that is important in her drag.

‘Charm, swagger, and a dash of glitz and glamour’

Speaking about the collaboration, director Jamie Sophia Fletcher said ‘I’m delighted to be working with two versatile, seasoned performers Len Blanco and Donna Trump - a fabulous drag king and drag queen who will bring hilarity, charm, swagger, and a dash of glitz and glamour to what is going to be an unforgettable, entertaining evening at The Blackpool Tower. We can’t wait to celebrate all things brass band, drag cabaret and queer culture’.


Tickets will go on sale on Friday 15 December at a cost of £18. These will be available via the BBE website’s events section.