Jonny Woo is bringing us the third annual Un-Royal Variety hosted at Hackney Empire for two nights only this October.
If you couldn’t make it to Edinburgh to see this stellar roster of artists, this is your chance to see them ALL IN ONE GO.
Our fabulous host Jonny, drag artiste and co-owner of the Haggerston LGBTQ+ pub The Glory, will make an appearance as his Mary Portas-inspired alter-ego Scary Mary among other drag personas, and bring us a variety extravaganza featuring as many Liza Minnelli tributes as he can physically fit on stage, London drag upstart Margo Marshall, a boxing-themed Drag King invasion and the next stage in the evolution of the much-loved Kate Middleton Choir.
The outrageous performance polymath Adrienne Truscott is being flown in from New York to give us “a feminist masterpiece disguised behind dick-jokes and partial nudity.” She’s a multi-award winner who’s been on the scene for 20 years and has recently won high praise for her radical, sophisticated yet playful comedic style. Bring it.
The woman Dawn French once described as the ‘third funniest woman in the world’, Jayde Adams, is back from her Edinburgh smash hit show The Divine Miss Jayde to entertain us in her inimitable Bristolian style, taking us through the full spectrum of emotions leaving us sore from laughter and begging for more.
Rising star Mawaan Rizwan, writer, actor, dancer, and stand up comic will give us the ride of our lives – he’s recently been picked up by the BBC as one to watch after he shot to fame with his hysterical and addictive YouTube channel – he is our new obsession
Texas’ very own self-styled genderqueer “drag terrorist”, Christeene will return this year for the two-nighter. Last year the performer, riding on to the stage atop a troupe of scantily-clad backing dancers, kicked off her headlining performance with a festive bunch of helium balloons – innocent enough until onlookers noted that said balloons were attached to Christeene’s butt plug, which, discharged, floated serenely off into the gods. Rumour has it said prop was still dangling above a children’s performance the following day…
This year, Christeene will be collaborating with stage provocateuse Lucy McCormick, who describes her work as a “trash-step-dub-punk-nu-wave-post-popular-non-binary-socially-engaged-experiential-experience.’’ Her Soho Theatre show Triple Threat was a hilariously depraved identity-exploring DIY retelling of the New Testament. This could be a collaboration made in heaven – or hell, depending on your preferences.
Christeene and Adrienne are not the only US acts in the show – Jonny’s long-term friend and collaborator, Brandon Olson will be making an appearance that will bring the club kid scene of downtown New York to east London.
To add to the madness, Bourgeois and Maurice, zeitgeisty cabaret satirists will make a triumphant return to the Un-Royal Variety this year. Prepare for razor sharp wit, catchy-AF songs, and even sharper sartorial ensembles. Note, Georgeois Bourgeois’ lyrca Putin bodysuit and Maurice’s signature sky-high beehive.
And if that line up alone wasn’t enough for your insatiable appetite for top drawer drag, rejoice! Le Gateau Chocolat, “the man, the lycra, the complete asshole” will give us a slice of his rich operatic baritone, Garry Starr will give us a taste of his Edinburgh Fringe show, Myra Dubois will serve shit-hot stand up.
This is a celebration of alternative culture and performance born out of the queer scene written by and starring the creme de la creme of the London’s (and beyond) DIY artists – be prepared to have your tits blown off, your wig in tatters and tights laddered.
Be advised, this will sell out in approximately two transvestite minutes, so make sure you cancel your probably much less interesting plans and get this in your diary.