Cushion Collective

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Photo by Frieda Rika at Roundhouse

While a Resident Artist at the Roundhouse, Sam founded and ran Cushion Collective, the venue’s longest-running resident cabaret and performance art collective. Sam both produced and hosted all of Cushion’s shows and events, as well as performing in them.

Cushion debuted to a packed-out Yard Theatre with the variety show Cushion & Co. Cabaret as part of Hackney WickED Art Festival, sold out the Roundhouse’s Sacklers Space with the variety show What the F*ck is Love?, turned it in to the packed-out club night WTF is Love (In This Club?) for Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club’s main space (along with their Hallowe’en special HALLOKWEEN!), and brought it to the Grand Palace of Entertainment at Bestival, where they were the official Catwalk Comperes for the festival’s Fancy Dress Competition, hosting the Heats and Main Stage Finals.

They were the resident entertainment troupe at Camden Market at events such as Lock Live and Summer Nights Market, worked with MAC Cosmetics for their MAC Backstage series, and were Company in Residence at Finger in the Pie.

Sam also presented, produced, and edited Cushion’s monthly Transmission Roundhouse radio show, Cushion Cabaradio. Listen to the first episode below.

Along with co-members Scarlett Lassoff and Jasmine Shigemura Lee, Sam did a post-show DJ set for Kyary Kyary Pamyu at her headline concert at Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival at the Roundhouse. Sam and Jasmine also make and perform work as the Cushion Eurasian Society, and their debut showcase was Carnesky’s season-closing, and busiest, Carnesky’s Finishing School Alumni Show at CFS Soho.

In December 2018, Cushion returned back home to Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club for a one-off festive reunion, Happy Hollygays, which saw the return of Sam, Scarlett, Jasmine, Hannah Davis, Sophie Wakefield, Chris Sav, Oberon White, and the Cushion show debuts of Billy Hicks and Lucia Pazzini. The show was a proper cushy comeback, which ended with a bouquet of flowers being given to host Sam at the curtain call, which then kicked off a proper cushty Christmas party.

Cushion Collective are Sam Reynolds, Scarlett Lassoff, Jasmine Shigemura Lee, Fauve Alice, Hannah Davis, Polly Beck, Felix Huxtable, and Sophie Wakefield, with the Cushion & Co. cohort Gerald Curtis, Jessica McKerlie, Joana Nastari, Chris Sav, Balthazar Mattar, Izzy Tennyson, Oberon White, Tallulah Haddon, Billy Hicks, and Lucia Pazzini.

Cushion Eurasian Society

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Edited by John Lee Bird, for Carnesky’s CFS

Cushion Eurasian Society are Sam Reynolds and Jasmine Shigemura Lee, two artists of mixed European and Asian heritage; English-Irish-Filipinx and Irish-Japanese respectively. The Society was created after their realisation that they were the only people of colour in Cushion Collective, and decided to throw a knowing nod at being a two-strong society, which is always on the lookout for new members.

Cushion Eurasian Society creates accessible performance that explore themes such as heritage, identity, and vulnerability, through the use of humour, physicality, and transformative experiences.

Sam Reynolds and Jasmine Shigemura Lee first worked together under the direction of David Rosenberg at Glastonbury Festival’s Block9, before becoming Resident Artists at the Roundhouse and founding members of Cushion Collective. They are Carnesky’s Finishing School alumni, and their Cushion Eurasian Society debut showcase was Carnesky’s season-closing, and busiest, CFS Alumni Show at CFS Soho.