The drag king scene has been growing over the past few years, and BOiBOX, now based at The Glory in Haggerston, is a lively showcase for all its forms.
Presented by real-life couple Adam All and Apple Derrieres, this is an evening which veers from comedy and lip synching to singing, bantering, and something a bit raunchier.
I’ve never been to see one of the live shows, but here we have a collection of performances from those seemingly distant days where stages and audiences in the same room were still a thing we took for granted.
Drag queens seem to get all the press: indeed, the likes of RuPaul have long made the sight of men performing as women mainstream. Here that image is reversed, subverted and challenged along with what ‘masculinity’ really means.
All and Derrieres tour their Drag Queen Story Time aimed at children around a variety of venues. Even so, their show considerable negative press just before lockdown, possibly as part of the gender fluidity backlash from some quarters. That’s why shows like BOiBOX are so valuable.
So, back to BOiBOX, which celebrates the diverse – the kings are made up of women, non-binary, gender-queer, and female-at-birth artists, and to be honest, all that matters us their talent (which is plentiful) and their individuality.
This show – despite the recording having varying sound levels and a camera setting clearly meant for archiving rather than for public consumption – is an enjoyable surprise, and the kings are both convincing and artificial.
On the line-up are Brent Would (but would Brent?), Fancy Chance (fancy pants), Mark Anthony (a touch of cl ass) and Monsieur Cookie (hot chocolate), all introduced from their “own little box” by the renowned and sparkly hosts. It’s a top line-up and I won’t give away any more if you’re going to watch.
Promising “the most magnificent of ‘manly’ marvels”, BOiBOX Online can be purchased from Outsavvy for a donation (£2-£15), and tickets can be purchased up to 30th April. All money goes to the performers to keep the cabaret going!