To add some pizzazz to travel messages ahead of next weekend’s Brighton & Hove Pride, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has enlisted the help of two of Brighton’s most iconic drag queens.
Stephen Richards and Jason Sutton – better known as Lola Lasagne and Miss Jason – have both been part of the UK drag scene for over 25 years, performing regular shows in Brighton and beyond. With such unique and recognisable voices, the rail operator snapped them up to record special-edition station announcements that will grab attention in the week leading up to Pride (From 1st August).
The all-star announcements act as a reminder that the event is taking place, whilst encouraging people to check before they travel and plan their journeys carefully. On Saturday night in particular, there will be specific messages about the rainbow queueing system at the station to help those leaving the event find the right queue for their journey.
Ryan Massen, Southern Station Manager at Brighton and part of GTR’s Pride-planning team, said: “Brighton and Hove Pride is an event we look forward to every year at GTR and we can’t wait to welcome it back to the city next weekend. We’re doing lots to help people travel safely by train and we thought, ‘What better way to spread our travel messages this year than with the help of two well-known and much-loved drag performers?’
“If you’re waiting for a train in the southern part of our network, then listen closely to station announcements from Monday 1st August as you may just hear a voice you recognise! Lola Lasagne and Miss Jason have been fabulous to work with and we can’t wait to see them at the event.”
GTR has confirmed it will be running an enhanced service across Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink over Pride weekend, with extra staff at Brighton station to help festivalgoers travel safely.
The operator is also bringing back the colour-coded queueing system introduced in 2019. Customers wishing to travel on the Brighton Main Line towards London will be instructed to follow the blue queue, those who need to use the West Coastway should use the purple queue and people who live on the East Coastway can follow the green queue.
Stephen Richards, who performs as Lola Lasagne, commented: “I regularly travel through Brighton station, so the chance to record my own PA announcements was too exciting to turn down! People from all over the UK travel to Brighton for Pride weekend and these messages help to welcome everyone to our glorious hometown.”
Jason Sutton, who performs as Miss Jason, also added: “Well you know us drag queens – never ones to turn down an opportunity to get on the mic! It was so much fun running riot at Brighton station for the day and recording our own announcements. Huge thanks to GTR for letting us do our thing and for all their help in getting people to and from Pride.”
Once again, GTR will have a float in the Brighton & Hove Pride Community Parade. The float has been designed by the company’s LGBT+ network and will be fronted by volunteers from the network, as well as colleagues from across the entire business.
For further information on train services across the weekend, please visit:
Southern – Brighton Pride (southernrailway.com) or Thameslink – Brighton Pride (thameslinkrailway.com).