Tuesday 20 February 2024

Competition Time

It’s competition season and I’m getting my quackers in a row for Drag Idol and, tomorrow, Purple Reign. There’s no necessity to do these things, I’m booked solidly every weekend all the way to August before heading off to Edinburgh Fringe with three shows, but competitions help sharpen up your performance on new audiences. 

Case in point is Purple Reign at G-A-Y on Canal Street. A venue full of Gen Z clubbers and not my usual pick n’ mix of club 18 to 80 at Absolutely Dabulous, Bop & Bingo and comedy nights. A queen needs flexibility, and not just to do the splits.

Competitions also do wonders for seeing what other performers are up to and making connections. I know all the other competitors tomorrow, which will make for a bit of a reunion. It’ll be interesting to see how their acts have developed since I saw them last and to have a proper catch-up.

Applications then open for Drag Idol in a few days and I’ve got my venues selected. Though not entirely by first choice preference. Many seem to have decided that the ideal day for a competition is Friday night. A decision that means no-one of any experience will be in the running as - like me - they’ll already be booked elsewhere for actual cash. From a manager’s point of view, Drag Idol may look like a cheap way to entertain their weekend crowd but it comes with the catch that the acts need to be halfway entertaining to do that and in a competition there’s no guarantee of that.

So I’ll be off to Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham this time around. Manchester is left out in the cold for, in one case, the above reason and, in the other, experience telling me they’ll never put a comedy queen through. Sheffield, I so wanted to perform for you given all the events I do there but you put your heats on a Friday and committed to getting knocked out in the semi-finals.

Outside of the competitions, Absolutely Dabulous has gained two more regular venues in Cheadle and Nottingham alongside its homes-from-home in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Marple Bridge and Denton. A few more are in progress with a couple of testers planned and, of course, an avalanche of Bop & Bingos. Other people’s comedy shows everywhere from Southport to Rhyl fill in the gaps and my own Three Puns at the Three Tuns is every 2nd and 4th Wednesday in Sheffield. Not forgetting my ace co-pro in Manchester and Liverpool with Aunty Ginger, Bring Me To Queers.

So now it's time to get the short sets sorted for the comps, work out what to wear, and have the recurring dream where I'm about to perform and realise I'm not wearing any underwear.

Buxton Fringe Shows Confirmed

This year, both Annie and I are going big time in Buxton with no less than 7 performances across July. Tickets available here . I've als...