UK drag queens teaser
UK drag queens teaser

Meet 12 of the UK’s Most Promising New Drag Queens

Drag queens in London are flourishing, with all shades of the LGBTQ rainbow putting on a show. From spoken word and live vocals to intricate lip sync, comedy and political performance art, as a drag-lover you’ll be spoiled for choice among UK drag queens.

Huge annual drag competitions like Lip Sync 1000, Drag Idol and Not Another Drag Competition are bringing through new faces. Even with the looming gloom of Brexit, London continues to be a hub for LGBTQ performance artists across Europe. The stages, bars and clubs of the city’s gay villages are some of the best places in the world to watch or be a drag queen.

With the above video as inspiration for our cobbled-together list, we present to you the best of new UK drag queens, including who they are and where you can find them.

Here are 12 of the freshest UK drag queens, in alphabetical order.

 

1. Bimini Bon-Boulash

I know what you're thinking. No I'm not @officialkatieprice

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Who is she?

Bimini Bon-Boulash entered The Glory’s famous Lipsync 1000 competition in February, winning the first heat. This queen hasn’t looked back since, performing at Glastonbury and Latitude this year.

Bon-Boulash is a drag queen DJ playing anything from disco and pop to Handbag House, and she’ll either look like the classiest trash bag or the sluttiest.

“I like massive eyes and theatrically inspired over-the-top blusher,” Bon-Boulash tells us. “Glitter, sequins and gorgeous dresses are staples in my wardrobe, but you can never have too much lingerie.”

This is what 10 hours of non-stop disco does to a queen. Someone book her.

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Where can you find her?

At The Glory, Bon-Boulash’s home away from home. She’s got upcoming gigs at Dalston Superstore, Adonis and the London Loft Party and on a big gay boat rave in Hackney.

 

2. Camillé Leon

#Fantastic #fishy #Friday #feels. Super excited for final @theglory. Thanks to Jonny woo and John sizzle for the amazing opportunities. Wednesday what a Dream. And to be supported by an amazing crowd and community. My wife @carmem_darling for my mug. ? what a TRAS-formation#Fantastic #fishy #Friday #feels. Super excited for final @theglory. Thanks to Jonny woo and John sizzle for the amazing opportunities. Wednesday what a Dream. And to be supported by an amazing crowd and community. My wife @carmem_darling for my mug. ? what a TRAS-formation. Love to all CamilléLeon ? . Love to all CamilléLeon ? There is only one of you, and you are it! So when you show up, put your best foot forward as you always do, and let your inner light shine. Just be you, because who you are is fabulous. #winner #werk #perform #dance #drag #tattoo 2 #trans #team #time to make #dreams happen x

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Who is she?

Camillé Leon is a vibrantly versatile queen, performing as both a male boylesque and female drag artist. A master of lip sync, Leon draws inspiration from all musical genres.

“I sit at both ends of the scale of gender polarity,” Leon says. “This allows me to appeal to all audiences, like the chameleon, camouflaging myself into different events and different genres.”

A muse to many throughout London’s creative arts scene, Camillé Leon has a hypnotic, captivatingly feel-good vibe. His talents have seen him perform at London’s EGG for the 25th birthday of legendary after-hours party Trade, at the Glastonbury Music Festival and at WUT? club.

Where can you find her?

You’ll find Camillé Leon at The Glory, WUT? Club, Dalston Superstore and at homo-rave Adonis.

 

3. Dolly Trolley

Who is she?

Dolly Trolley was born in March 2017, making her literally one of London’s freshest queens. She’s on a mission to get London officially trolleyed.

Expect to see leotards, sweat, upside-down lip-syncs and a high-energy performance style. Some have accused her of being #toomuch. She’s not. She’s fabulous.

Recent performances have included Princess Leia’s renouncement of men and Liza Minnelli metamorphosing into Angela Merkel.

Where can you find her?

Stages across London and Edinburgh. She came in second place in this year’s London Pride Got Talent Cabaret competition.

 

4. Felix Le Freak

Who is she?

Felix Le Freak does fabulous character comedy and original song, though her meticulously planned, flawlessly performed lip syncs are also unmissable. 

“I love the power that lip-sync has to transport you between worlds in the click of a finger, and allows you to inhabit iconic characters,” she says. “There’s nothing like that buzz of feeling a pop-cultural moment flowing through you!”

“Felix gave me permission to be more boldly queer than I was before, both on and off-stage. My drag isn’t about creating a female illusion but rather about using queer and feminine fashion and imagery to rebel against the poison of masculinity.”

Where can you find her?

At two monthly cabaret revues: Felix and Friends at the Old Nun’s Head in Peckham on the first Friday of every month, and at Le Freakshow, at Patterns in Brighton.

Watch out for her debut solo show, Felix Le Freak’s ShockBuster Video as part of the London Horror Festival.

 

5. Just May

Who is she?

If you’re a fan of drag and you love ’90s pop stars The Spice Girls, you’ll go crazy for Just May. Many already have. This gorgeous creature injects fun into drag.

“I like to take imagery that I love(d) from popular culture, things that people can reference to their own lives and create a drag look that has humour and relevance to pop culture,” she says.

Her looks have a cartoony edge, with a classic drag twist based in pop culture. Her recent work as Ginger Spice led to the creation of the film Just May Does Geri, which focuses on her obsession with the ’90s pop legend.

Where can you find her?

At the gorgeously inclusive Sunday Funday, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club and Sink the Pink.

 

6. Lewis G. Burton

J'adore this photo by @mrhotshoe ❤️

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Who is she?

Burton is a performance artist, DJ and drag queen from Newcastle. Starting off with artsy club kid looks six years ago, drag and nightlife work is now a full time job.

“I mean, it’s much easier to slip into a dress than it is to be having a ruff made of 12 giant dicks around your neck, isn’t it!” Burton tells us.

Burton’s eclectic style mixes grungy, punky themes with old-time camp. She’s one hell of a lip syncer, an unforgettable dancer and generally rather hilarious. This bitch gets about, working on original music in the studio as well as learning to play dark, industrial techno.

HAWT MESS at Golddiggers! ?

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Where can you find her?

Burton has residencies at Spin Cycle, WUT? Club and Berlin Berlin. She runs ‘INFERNO’ the queer techno rave, and Maison Des Fous, an over-the-top pop party offering a platform to London’s newest club scene talents.

 

7. Ruby Wednesday

Who is she?

Ruby Wednesday sings live, sometimes takes her clothes off and has recently started using fire. With lip sync acts that combine songs and spoken word, there’s often a strong story or message in her numbers, leaving you entertained as well as challenged.

“I want an audience to feel something. If they love it, hate it or are baffled by it, they’re all good things,” Wednesday tells us. “If I’ve at least made you think about something, then I’ve done my job.”

“Gender expression and that hazy grey area of sexuality is something I like to toy with,” she continues. “There’s a definite expression of my interest in witchcraft thrown in there as well.”

Right now the focus is on music, with a conceptual album underway. She just supported Amanda Palmer, which “was something that my entire life of being an absolute loser has led up to.”

“I had the realization that night that I’m not really a drag queen,” Ruby Wednesday says. “I don’t think I ever really was. I’m a rockstar.”

Where can you find her?

Often at Her Upstairs in Camden, she’s part of the Friday night cast. Recent themes have included American Horror Story and Buffy.

 

8. ShayShay

Who is she?

Shane ShayShay Konno is a drag artist and activist devoted to empowering the queer community, exposing intersectionality and raising marginalized voices. From California, this queen has been living in London for the past three years, becoming an active member of the East London queer performance scene.

Her costumes and lip sync routines are out of this world. Expect to be seriously mesmerized.

Living a lilac/lavender/periwinkle life on the door at @yosissyberlin sucking on some @lustyice

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Where can you find her?

ShayShay is the creator, curator and host of the monthly ShayShay Show, which is held on the third Friday of each month in East London’s Limewharf. The ShayShay Show is a queer community gathering that offers a performance platform for new acts to develop.

 

9. Sue Gives A Fuck

And on the 7th day I made a balloon skirt and the balloon skirt was good. Photo by @elle_the_drag_queen

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Who is she?

Sue Gives A Fuck began drag as a finalist on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Ambassador. Since then she’s gone on to host sold-out shows, has performed with Charlotte Church and Ian McKellen and recently won The Glory’s Lipsync 1000.

As a cabaret artist she produces intricate, intelligent work, often tackling historical themes. Her Lipsync 1000 piece was about men writing women’s history, as seen in the lives of Boudicca, Mary Beard and Beyoncé.

Nowadays, though, she’s all but abandoned her adoring fans in cabaret and performs on the stand-up circuit, “because someone has to educate straight people.”

Art tbh. Photo by @elliot_moody Mask and cape by @garethharrismua

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Where can you find her?

She can be seen every month at The Glory hosting Play Date. Billed as “comedy for queers,” the show combines the funniest queers of the cabaret scene with the most established names in comedy. Sue’s hope is that “bringing cabaret and comedy audiences together will create a strange, funny, valuable queer space for play.

 

10. The Phoenix (aka Rhys’ Pieces)

Who is she?

Rhys Hollis began The Phoenix as a ‘gender fuck’ spoken word artist and rapper on issues such as substance abuse and mental health. This magnetic and hugely watchable character has evolved and grown to create powerful messages through lip syncing, performance art and many forms of cabaret.

“I believe it’s important, especially as a black gay man, to play with the idea of gender perception and masculinity, but also as a queer person to use performance to discuss issues faced by the community,” he says.

Where can you find her?

For about a year he’s been running his own cabaret night, Queefy, which brings together cabaret talent from every sphere of the scene.

 

11. Vinegar Strokes

Who is she?

Vinegar Strokes is one of South London’s finest exports, known to some as “The female Whoopi Goldberg.” The man behind Vinegar is actor, comedian and singer Daniel Jacob. He was the first winner of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s Drag Idol competition.

Vinegar is a “proud working-class queen,” and her style reflects that. Onstage Vinegar is predominantly a stand-up comedian and live singer, with a style influenced by Joan Rivers and Kathy Burke.

Ok insert caption…..GO!!! #gorgeous #drag #dragqueen #berlin #lgbt #instagay #instaqueen #captiongame

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Where can you find her?

All over London. She’s in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre from November, WING$ on the first Sunday of the month at Her Upstairs and at Vinegar’s Filthy Animals, an all-male strip show.

 

12. Wilma Balls Drop

"I miss your ginger hair and the way you like to dress…"

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Who is she?

Wilma is a Welsh bombshell with nods to Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones. She’s proud of her Welsh heritage and has taken London’s drag scene by storm since moving there earlier this year. Created by actor and jazz cabaret singer Phil Lee-Thomas as a hostess for his annual fancy dress party, the act grew into an entity of its own.

The combination of Lee-Thomas’s strong, fabulous vocals with Wilma’s old-school drag look and incredibly un-PC comedy make her a strong, vibrant new voice on London’s drag scene.

In full flow. Thank heavens for Tena.

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Where can you find her?

On the Main Stage and Cabaret Stage at this year’s London Pride. She’s also making increasingly frequent appearances at venues in Soho, such as the Admiral Duncan and Halfway II Heaven.