Community spirit: Queen of Bermuda Sybil Barrington will help those who lost their jobs after the fire at HWP by donating part proceeds from her show. *File photo
Community spirit: Queen of Bermuda Sybil Barrington will help those who lost their jobs after the fire at HWP by donating part proceeds from her show. *File photo

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16: Queen of Bermuda Sybil Barrington is to donate part-proceeds of her 2011 show to the HWP workers laid off after the company’s fire.

Fire engulfed the auto company’s body shop on August 8, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage.

As a result of the “catastrophic” fire the firm said it was forced to cut 21 jobs. But now Sybil, aka bus driver Mark Anderson, wants to show the workers that “Bermudians care”, by raising funds to help them through this Christmas.

Next month is her annual Sybil’s Dynamic Female Impersonators show at City Hall Theatre, featuring both Bermudian and international drag artistes.

Sybil said the HWP fire and its subsequent job losses had “touched most of us”, particularly due to the economic downturn. “My heart has really gone out to the workers, because this could have happened to anyone of us,” said Sybil.

“I just wanted to help in a small way and contacted the CEO (Jonathan Brewin) and he welcomed it, so they gave me the green light.

“I’m hoping people will come out and support it as Christmas is coming and it can be a very depressing time for people, particularly if you are out of work.

“It’s just something to show that we Bermudians care.”

Jonathan Brewin, HWP CEO said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support we’ve had from the community, and this is a true example of Bermuda coming together at a very difficult time.”

Sybil is bringing in five acts from North America in addition to Bermudian drag artistes Sheila Showers and Lady Tatiana.

This, his eighth show at City Hall, features Steve Lindsey from Canada and Teal Ashton, Sheila Noxezma, Skyler and Olga Supphozova from the US.

Sybil will also perform, as well as “a legendary Bermudian surprise guest”, who last appeared on the island’s stage 20 years ago.

Sybil will perform a song from Victor Victoria and Miss Showers will present a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse. Lady Tatiana will perform a song from Burlesque.

It is not yet finalized what the Canadian and American acts will do.

Sybil said: “These are individuals I’ve worked with over the years.”

Skyler and Teal Ashton have both performed at the drag restaurant Lips in New York, while Olga Supphozova performs around the world with the male drag ballet corps Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

This year, Sybil’s celebrity guest is recording artist Sharon Brown.

Ms Brown had a 1982 hit with I Specialize in Love, as well as the Eighties songs Love Don’t Hurt People, Programmed Heart and I’ll Make You Feel Like the First Time.

Ms Brown, from Harlem, also raises awareness about gang violence in New York and is active in prison ministry.

Sybil said: “The reason why I’ve invited her is, she is very involved in raising awareness of gang violence, and at this time in our island’s history we need anyone who can speak out and give their outlook on the issues.

“So I thought, why not bring her? She has read about our shootings here and is very concerned about it all.”

Sybil described the show as “all about love and laughter, and comedy”.

“Just this week I met a man who told me he was bringing his lady friend to one of my shows to celebrate their first anniversary together.

“He said they met at my show last year. They’re a couple in their sixties and have been dating for a year.

“They said they were also bringing their single friends, so hopefully they will meet somebody too.

“So you see, anything can happen at my show.”