Jellyfish corsets, giant mechanical butterfly wings, a polystyrene ball cross-cum-penis and a giant glittering vagina. These are just a few of the fierce and fabulous sights that took to the stage at Shakespeare’s Globe, as artist Andrew Logan’s unclassifiable and kaleidoscopic Alternative Miss World arrived back in town.
This was the fourteenth outing for the ‘pageant’, which began way back in 1972 – that’s just five years after homosexuality had been decriminalised in Britain.
Although it follows the traditional beauty pageant set-up, with daywear, swimwear and eveningwear categories, here anything goes. Anyone can enter the competition and all entrants are judged on poise, personality and originality – the categories at Crufts, if you hadn’t noticed – rather than beauty.
This year’s theme, ‘Psychedelic Peace’, meant the theatre was swathed in technicolour fabric and glowing with hallucinatory lights, and a fine panel of fabulously eccentric judges watched over the proceedings, including Dame Zandra Rhodes, Grayson Perry (who co-hosted the last event in 2014) and Jarvis Cocker.
In air thick with smoke, confetti and glitter, the contestants paraded the stage in outfits crocheted from recycles tights.
And creations that struggled to fit through the low-slung Jacobean doorways.
Newcomers Drag Syndrome owned the stage.
Some arrived in technicolour.
And Miss Psychic Time Bomb went for an ‘expanding egg yolk’ look.
Some wore a lot.
And others wore very little.
But, ultimately, Miss UFO's gravity-defying creations stole the show. She was crowned queen and carried around the Globe wearing a psychedelic cloak with inflatable peace doves gliding behind her.
Images: Holly Revell
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