London's busy drag world offers many opportunities for queens and kings to compete, but for fledgling drag artists it can be a daunting scene to step straight into – since many of the nights are centred around competition. Enter accomplished performer, and Pride's Got Talent host, Michael Twaits.
Michael is back at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern for the third year to run the ten-week course Art of Drag that starts on January 16. He is on a mission to create a space where drag newbies (and more experienced artists) can develop their performance skills without being judged: ‘It isn’t just for showoffs,' claims Twaits. 'We’ve had all types of personalities. My main inspiration was to create something that is friendly and non-competitive. And by the end of the ten weeks, you have a ten-minute set that you can really kill with.’ The course culminates in a public showcase.
Former Art of Drag student Walter Ego (and Ursula Dares)
Michael will be teaching a few sessions in drag – not just as a handy teaching tool – as after class he will be jumping into an uber and racing off to perform. Guest lecturers like London luminaries Myra du Bois and Meth will also be joining Thwaits to deliver masterclasses.
Former graduates include Benjamin Butch who appeared on 'This Morning' to discuss the rise in drag kings and TV whose celebrated routine involves lip-syncing to Donald Trump speeches.
There are a few slots left on the course beginning in January. For those interested email email@example.com. If you are not quite ready to take the plunge Michael will be running the course again in September.
Former Art of Drag student Maria Hurtz.
What else is on at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern?
On any given night, star names may be draped banner-big across its traditional pub frontage (Lily Savage got her start behind the bar), and the place may be absolutely jammed. The main attraction is Duckie, Amy Lamé’s wilfully eccentric Saturday club night. Get here in the early evening and you’ll have time and space to fire into some beef stew or a burger, but otherwise it’s shots, shooters and standard lagers all the way. In the evening, muscle marys whip off their tops and gear up for an evening of debauchery at the many nearby clubs.
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