Alfie Ordinary speaks with the Drag Artists who have defined, innovated, inspired and led the British Queer scenes’ activism and artistry in
A weekly YouTube series launching 15 November 2021
The series of one-to-one interviews will feature drag artists of iconic status David Hoyle, Le Gateau Chocolat, Adam All, Dave Lynn, Lola Lasagne, Holestar and Son of a Tutu. Alfie will address their individual successes, from TV and Film work, community work, career longevity, taking their place on huge international stages, the activism on which Drag is built and of course, the absolute campery of it all. These interviews are about those who have innovated drag over decades; changing and developing the art form and Queer protest through their work.
As more and more people welcome drag into their homes (UK Drag Race racked up 12 million views for season one, even more for season two and the third season currently under way) Alfie will use the first series of Living Legends to begin to tell Britain’s rich herstory of Drag with seven of the art form’s pioneers. With RuPaul’s Drag Race failing to cast a truly diverse range of drag in terms of age, race, gender and drag style, Living Legends hopes to highlight the some of the pioneers of British Drag, with each guest bringing their own unique and inspiring story to the table.
Alfie showcases the huge variety found within the British drag scene that makes it such an exciting and vital queer space, inviting audiences in to the full spectrum of wonderful campery in the artform. Fun, fabulous and 100% drag – think Parkinson meets Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Drag Prince Alfie Ordinary, Son-of-a-Drag-Queen, has toured the UK and further afield with many of the UK and USA’s best known drag performers. His debut solo show Help! I Think I Might Be Fabulous won multiple awards at Adelaide Fringe, San Diego Fringe, and Brighton Fringe.
Alfie commented: “I’m so excited for this show! The guests I’m interviewing have all achieved a great level of success in their drag careers, and an incredible longevity. Some of the artists I’m talking to have been doing drag longer than I have been alive! And they are all STILL working drag artists! I can’t wait to sit down and talk with these incredible people about the ever-changing landscape of drag, from television and film appearances, to Section 28, gay marriage and RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Filming took place at Brighton Pride’s new state of the art Ironworks Studios, with seven of the UK’s most respected and treasured acts sharing their incredible drag stories. Audiences will hear about the way one queen uses their platform for powerful activism, having spearheaded the biggest vigil for the Pulse Orlando shootings in Soho, and organising a viral video campaign during the Black Lives Matter movement last summer. One artist speaks about drag and spirituality, while another talks about how their time in the army and their work as a dominatrix plays a part in their drag.
We hear about the importance of inclusivity within the LGBTQ+ scene from a leading Drag King and we hear about how the portrayal of queer people in the media has changed in the last 40 years and what that has done to and for our community. We learn how one queen started drag in the mid 70s, just 10 years after the Sexual Offenses Act in 1967 and how they have witnessed 45 years of social change and developments in our human rights over their career.
The interviews are candid, friendly and informative, telling a diverse and fascinating story about the rich history of UK drag through the words of Living Legends themselves.
- Le Gateau Chocolat, a British-Nigerian Brighton based queen, is known for work spanning drag, cabaret, opera, musical theatre, children’s theatre and live art. They run a hugely successful Arts Council England funded theatre company and have toured internationally, winning awards the world over.
- David Hoyle, born and based in Blackpool, is an avant-garde performance artist, film-maker, drag artist, comedian and singer who has repeatedly spoken out about ‘mainstream’ gay culture and the absent tolerance for homophobia in society and leadership. Under his stage persona he became a household name in the 90s for his Channel 4 arts show The Divine David Presents.
- Son of a Tutu is a Drag Queen and Activist of British Nigerian heritage, they perform as a Nigerian Drag Queen – a statement to the dangerous homophobic ideology of Nigerian leadership and culture. Notably, they were instrumental in organising the Pulse Nightclub Vigil in Soho London in May 2016.
- Adam All has over a decade of experience on the Drag scene, hosting a residency at SHE in Soho. Adam is a singer and leading voice on the Drag King scene.
- Lola Lasagne is a British Queen with three decades of performance, they are an activist and performer with huge awareness of the progressive nature of a really buoyant queer scene.
- Film and TV star Dave Lynn is well known for their appearance in the iconic 00s series ‘Faking It’ in which he mentored Spence Bowdler, an ex-naval officer, in their transformation to Drag Queen. Lynn has four decades of drag and stage experience to speak to.
- Cabaret doyenne Holestar is an award-winning artist, belting vocalist, DJ and more who uses music and performance to blur the boundaries between gender; the avant-garde and mass entertainment; and pop culture and the underground.
Living Legends hopes to entertain and inspire drag fans, and document and treasure some of the rich and fruitful history of UK drag. Drag is a political statement, it is both armour and rage rooted in a community which has seen so much hatred and hurt – yet survives and thrives – and always with a nod to the mad, the silly and to anarchy in queer culture. As Queer culture of the last 40 – 50 years storms the ‘mainstream’, from Rebel Dykes, to the huge global audience for Drag Race and Channel 4’s prime-time positioning of It’s A Sin, these conversations will speak directly with the performers, the people behind them, and those perfomers who haven’t yet been given the mainstream spotlight, who have shaped British Drag and Queer British expression. What is the full story? Let’s Drag It Out.
Alfie Ordinary’s Living Legends will launch its first episode on 15 November. Each episode will be uploaded weekly onto the Living Legends YouTube channel. For more information, visit https://www.alfieordinary.com.
Living Legends is supported by Arts Council England with thanks also to Brighton Pride.