Drag icons get festive in Brighton

Drag icons and RuPaul’s Drag Race stars BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are taking the stage once again in a “post-apocalypse-mas extravaganza certain to make this yuletide gayer than ever.”

Jinkx Monsoon by Jiji Lee
Jinkx Monsoon by Jiji Lee

The Return of The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, Live! will be at Brighton Theatre Royal on Sunday, November 21, promising “whip-smart comedy, brand-new songs and a few perennial favourites.”

BenDeLaCreme said: “After a year in captivity Jinkx and I are bustin’ at the seams and rarin’ to go! Waiting for Santa is nothing compared to the excitement I feel to be back in theatres, sharing the holidays with the chosen family we’ve collected around the globe!”

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Jinkx agreed: “I’m thrilled to be back on tour with my sister DeLa, celebrating the holidays the way I was meant to: boozed up, bawdy and on display.”

Since winning Season Five of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jinkx has gained a global fan base and toured the world performing her original cabaret shows with her music partner, Major Scales. They should have been at Theatre Royal Brighton on April 30 last year – and then the pandemic intervened.

“The UK has become an annual thing. I started there five years ago when we brought one of our original cabaret shows across to the Soho Theatre. After a successful run, we started producing our UK wide tours, and the great thing is that we get to go to a lot of the cities that Drag Race doesn’t go to.

“I love it. I really feel that we connect to our UK audiences. I grew up on a lot of British TV and that British sense of humour. That’s what enthused me from a really young age, and it has really influenced my way of thinking.”

And it influences the show too: “I can get away with a more dry and subtle sense of humour in the UK, but in the States I go for more OTT and zany.

“In the UK there is a really long history of drag, and not just in the gay bars, but also drag within your pantos.

“It is not really the same thing, but I think in your culture you are a little bit more open-minded towards it.

“One thing I really like is to be in your small towns and you get an audience coming along that are not particularly drag fans but they are just excited to see this kind of show coming to town.

“I think drag means different things to different people. For me, I got into drag because I wanted more opportunities as a performer. I had always dreamed of being an actor, and what really excited me were the female roles. When I started doing drag, even if I couldn’t be the Wicked Witch of the West at school, I could be the Wicked Witch of the West in the night clubs

“I just really love performing, but also through drag I get to look at certain aspects of myself. I get to explore certain aspects of my gender that I wouldn’t get to explore in other situations. I have become who I am through drag, who I am as a non-binary individual. But really it is different for everyone. But it gives me a lot of opportunities to look at things from a different perspective.”

Key to it all is acceptance: “It allows us to be who we want to be and not what society tells us to be.

“We get to lead our own lives. Drag is about casting off everything that is normal and everything that has been previously expected; it is about being you and who you are meant to be.”