Polari Pages – In Conversation With Actor, Singer & Drag Artist Stephanie Von Clitz

“Von Clitz is the name, finding it’s the game!” The witty, glamorous, and personable cabaret sensation Miss Stephanie Von Clitz is known across Brighton and all over the country for her appearances in adult pantomime and of course her cabaret residencies.

Currently, you can find Miss Clitz at Le Village on High Street in Kemptown every Friday night, alongside Billie Gold and Darcey Nox. A flamboyant night of glitz, tits, and Clitz, together they Qwerk the stage! Not to mention her fortnightly quiz at the fabulous Fallen Angel pub every other Thursday.

Please describe your cabaret act. Who is Stephanie Von Clitz?

Well dear, she’s the Dorset tart with a heart! Very much easy-going, I sing live and banter with the audience. I have a very dry sense of humour. It’s hard to describe it really, I just do it all the time. A fun camp act.

Tell me the Stephanie Von Clitz origin story. How did you discover drag?

When I was young and still living in Dorset I came across drag in Bournemouth. It wasn’t something I was particularly excited by at first. When I moved to London there was of course so much more there on the scene. I sang on the karaoke and my friend heard me. They then encouraged me to do Drag Idol, which I did and I was mentored. That’s how it started.

Bette Rinse is my drag mother. She’s helped many young artists in the past. She mentored Mary Mac and did the same with me. I had a guest spot with her every Tuesday at Halfway To Heaven, and then we did a residency together. That was my first proper job at the Admiral Duncan doing cabaret and DJ’ing on a Thursday. Ever since she’s always encouraged and supported me and been there at the end of the phone. Always happy to help.

How has your experience being part of the Golden Girls stage show been?

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Golden Girls musical, and continuing their legacy. What they all did at the time was break down serious conversations, they broke down the barriers behind that and turned it into a subtle message with humour involved. I think it was such a clever thing.

We’ve done seven episodes now, and we’re about to go on tour again this year in Manchester and Brighton. We’re doing a Christmas version as well in December. We’ve just finished in London. There’s a lot of scope for that to go further.

It stars Sally Vate as Mrs & Al Beaty, Tanya Hide as Blanche, Rose Garden as Dorothy, Mrs Moore plays Sofia, and I played Rose Nylund. I do love playing the character Rose, she’s very typecast. Rose is quite ditsy, I’m quite ditsy, it works. They’re all great characters though.”

In a way she’s inspired me to become a drag mother myself. I see how other people support young artists. That’s why when we opened the Open Mic drag night in Brighton it was a great thing to be encouraging young artists to develop their craft. From that I’ve got a little drag family around here, which is lovely.

Given gay rights were won largely through protest, how do you feel about the Government’s attempt to subvert political activism?

Everyone should have a voice and a message. Everyone should be heard. Drag has been at the forefront of protest and gay pride movements. No one should have any power to take that away from anyone. Everyone should have their message. Everyone should have their right to protest.

What would you like to see change within the LGBTQIA+ community?

I think there should be much more inclusivity. I hope drag will always continue and I hope people respect and understand that we work really hard to perfect our craft. It’s not just going on a TV show and becoming a celebrity. Learn the craft, I’ve always said that.

Tell me about your charity single.

That’s just come out recently. It’s called ‘If I Could Fly Away’, written by Tony Power. It was produced at Barbican Studios.

It was difficult because of the pandemic, in 2018 we recorded the first version and in 2019 we started filming the video. And then Covid hit and we couldn’t do anything.

We just met up whenever we could to get things together, then last year we finally finished the video and it’s just come out!

It’s available on Amazon Music, Spotify, and my Facebook page! A lot of hard work went into it and I’m very proud of it.

People can donate via cancerisadrag.org or you can buy the single to download. We’re waiting for more platforms to get back to us so more people can download it!

A pleasure as always Steph!

Get downloading the new single! Please donate to Cancer Is A Drag at cancerisadrag.org

Tickets for Golden Girls: A Musical are available here. Book now!

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