First ever Italian Drag Brunch hits Portsmouth aiming to ‘entertain and educate’

AN EVENT in Southsea hosted by the Marmion family encourages people to ‘be themselves’ as UK’s first Italian Drag Brunch gets a sparkling reception.

By Elsa Waterfield
Friday, 13th May 2022, 11:55 am

On May 2, Italian restaurant and bar venue, Pitigliano in Southsea, welcomed guests to the UK’s first Italian Drag Brunch featuring Italian drag queen, Alyssa Van Delle.

The venue hosts regular live music nights which have previously seen the likes of ITV’s Starstruck winner singer Rachael Hawnt, and an Elvis tribute the night before.

Alyssa’s performance was her final show until October and came just four days before setting off on her season in Mykonos.

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Alyssa Van Delle performs at Italian Drag Brunch at Pitigliano, Southsea.

She said: ‘I’ve gone out with a bang that’s for sure.

‘I loved it, when I woke up on the bus from Soho I looked out the window and thought I was in Dubai, because I saw Spinnaker Tower!’

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Alyssa, 27, has been performing her all-singing all-dancing drag shows for eight years and has performed everywhere from London to New York, Vegas, Miami, Milan, Mykonos and more.

Alyssa Van Delle performs at Italian Drag Brunch at Pitigliano, Southsea. Picture: Betty Waterhouse.

‘Drag brunches have taken off now but I like it when they’re a bit more intimate like this, it’s something a bit different,’ she added.

Pitigliano is one of four venues in Southsea owned by the Arabbetou family - also known as the Marmion Family - alongside Catalan Barcelona Tapas Bar, Notios and The Sunday Post.

The evening saw Alyssa give a dazzling performance featuring glitzy costumes, sing-alongs and even getting everyone to their feet for a conga line.

Joel Wheeler is company operations director at the Marmion Family, and organiser of the event.

Alyssa Van Delle performs at Italian Drag Brunch at Pitigliano, Southsea.

He said: ‘The reaction was fabulous, the event was so successful that we will be bringing them to Portsmouth every month, to encourage everyone to be themselves no matter what.’

‘It’s important to show Portsmouth great entertainment can also educate.

‘I want people to understand diversity, to come enjoy and have fun. Everyone had a great time, they loved it,’ he added.

Guests also enjoyed a two-course Italian meal with bottomless drinks.

Alyssa Van Delle performs at Italian Drag Brunch at Pitigliano, Southsea.

Zoe Adams, from Waterlooville, attended the event – her first ever drag show – along with friends.

She said: ‘It was so much fun, I’ve never seen drag before, I would definitely come again.

‘It was such a good atmosphere, I don’t think you’ve got anywhere else in Portsmouth like this,’ she added.