Launching our Cabaret College!

Ready to take your act to the next level? Want some space to get inspired and learn new skills? This 8 – week online course is designed to give you the tools to develop material for your own drag or cabaret act, and build your confidence. Award winning actor, writer and drag king Louis Cyfer will lead 4 interactive sessions and provide mentoring for participants.

Aimed at emerging drag and cabaret acts looking for a creative challenge, our Cabaret College is about developing talent in the North of England. The course will give some context for the history of cabaret and drag, share a host of creative techniques for generating original material, and prepare participants for live performance in a safe and supportive environment.

It is an ideal follow on for people who have already participated in our previous drag king king workshops.  It is also well suited to drag queens or other cabaret acts in need of space to create new material.

Cabaret College poster. For kings, queens and all in between. 19 August - 30 September. Tickets available via Tickets for good. Apply via a Google Form

Sessions will happen on a fortnightly basis with set tasks to work on in between, to then share with the group. Each participant will receive a small amount of one to one mentoring with Louis Cyfer to assist with and support any challenges participants may need to work through.

By the end of the course each participant will have

  • A clearer sense of their drag character or cabaret act.
  • Created their own original material.
  • Understand how to work an audience.

Places on this course are limited in order to provide the best possible learning experience for participants. It is expected that participants will already have a drag or cabaret character devised. Places will be prioritised for those living in Yorkshire or the North of England. Free bursaries are available to QTIBPOC in order to provide better representation of Black and Asian identities in the UK drag and cabaret scene.

To secure a place on the course, please apply via our simple Google form by 5pm on Thursday 30 July. Successful applicants will be notified the following week.

Please note, this course is about generating original material and performing live. It is expected that participants will use their own voice through speech or song.

Course Details
WEEK 1 – 19 August
Covering the history of cabaret and drag and its relevance to a modern audience. Looking at your character and how they relate to the audience, covering all the basics to getting started!

WEEK 2 – 2 September
Introducing you to a whole range of techniques to help you generate original material and find the form that suits your own strengths and skills.

WEEK 3 – 16 September
Exploring how to respond to current events / contemporary society and generating material that has something to say. Unlocking your voice and using it to create innovative and entertaining material.

WEEK 4 – 30 September
This final session is all about audience engagement. Learning how to play with the audience and make them part of your set; and even how to manage hecklers!

We look forward to receiving your application! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our contact form.

What is a drag king cabaret?!

It has come to our attention that, SHOCK HORROR, some folk don’t KNOW what a drag king cabaret is? Hold our redbush tea while we gently explain the lowdown on the glorious and rare beast that is a cabaret night dedicated solely to DRAG KINGS.

Drag king romeo de la cruz onstage dancing
Romeo De La Cruz performs at The Kingdom Come 5, May 2019

Firstly, some of you, (gasp) may not know what a drag king is, but we think you *may* have heard of drag queens. So, a drag king, instead of performing femininity like most queens, will perform a version of masculinity. This can include use of makeup, facial hair, body transformation, and just like a queen, a wholly formed persona to amuse an audience. But ‘blokes are not as exciting to look at as the trappings of a woman’ we hear some dissenters mouth.. HOLD UP! Have you seen Spikey Van Dykey?  Adam All? Christian Adore? Oedipussi? The latter three kings have all performed at our very own drag king cabaret, The Kingdom Come. No one with working eyesight could accuse these kings of not dazzling the heck out of audiences with their OTT looks.

Adam All and partner Aple Derrieres perform at The Kingdom Come, June 2017.

Starting to get an understanding? Okay. Now. Just don’t say ‘so its a woman dressed as a man right?’ This is because many kings identify as non binary, trans-masculine or as men. That said, some kings do go about daily life as women, just please ask before assuming this. Misgendering folk is never a good look and we really don’t want our community feeling less than damn brilliant. Got it? Champion.

So what does a drag king do? Glad you asked. They usually perform a 5 – 10 minute act in which they may dance, strut, pose, sing, lipsync or clown but always with the intention of entertaining an audience. Many kings use their performances to deconstruct and play with the idea of masculinity, using props, humour and audience interaction to give audiences a rollicking thrill ride of fun, while potentially also blowing your mind with a different perspective. Even if that perspective is that you didn’t know the macarena could be performed *that* fast, (cheers Oedipussi), or you now have a taste for a dick in a box (thanks Louis Von Dini)!

Chiyo onstage at The Kingdom Come, with tattoos and piercings on display
Scene star Chiyo performs at The Kingdom Come, May 2019. Abbeydale Picture House.

And a drag king cabaret such as The Kingdom Come? Well we put 5 of these kings on a massive stage, in the historic surroundings of old 1920’s cinema, Abbeydale Picture House in Sheffield, and get them to perform for 200 – 350 people. They usually perform 2 different acts each with an interval in between. Its a room full of queer joy, community and the feeling that for 3 hours, we can come together and just celebrate. We also transform the space with decorations, a dedicated lighting designer, stage crew, and a team of amazing volunteers are on hand to support our community throughout (and sell some of the best vegan cake in Sheffield).

We do this because often, female bodied and trans performers are marginalised, because its the turn of the kings to get the recognition they deserve, with scene stalwarts like Boi Box having helped develop the careers of so many wonderful kings, and because Northern cities like Sheffield deserve some of the finest entertainment the UK has to offer! (And like so many cities, are lacking in dedicated LGBTQ+ venues). We want to put Sheffield on the map for queer arts and culture.

350 audience members watch Shesus and the Sisters onstage in Sheffield.
Shesus and the Sisters hosting The Kingdom Come at Abbeydale Picture House, May 2019.

Now you may have a better understanding of what The Kingdom Come is, we hope you can join us for a future edition. Because of the scale of these shows (the largest drag king show outside of London), we only do them once or twice a year. Our next is on the 21st March and you can get a ticket here, with sliding scale prices so all can enjoy a night of queer joy!

We hope to greet you there! 

The Kingdom Come #4

On December 1st 2018, we brought our drag king cabaret, The Kingdom Come back to Walkley Community Centre, Sheffield. The night was a sell out, with audience members rocking some amazing costumes and outfits. Its never too early for tinsel right?

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Host Don One was charm personified, his Brummie accent and smooth songs winning everyone round. Stellar performances came from Dick Slick, Loui Von Dini, Mo Torboat and Chiyo, who were warmly enveloped in the love from our audience.

Don 1
Host Don One from Birmingham!

As usual the cake sold faster than you can say hotcakes, and the Andro & Eve volunteers did a brilliant job of helping the night run smoothly. We want to say a huge thanks to them for giving their time to help at this night and the others we’ve produced in 2018.

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Loui Von Dini had treats for us all…

A massive thank you to Walkley Community Centre for lending us their venue again, to all the local businesses who donated towards our raffle, and our audience for contributing to our Pay it Forward Ticket fund. This fund allows us to provide cheaper and free tickets to those who need them. We raised £245 from this event through raffle and online contributions alone! Thank you! Here’s to more super events in 2019. Have you got your ticket to A Reyt Queer Do: Electric Dreams edition on February 16th yet?!

All photos credited to Ndrika Anyika. See more of the night via our Facebook album! 

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Pirates came ashore for the evening…!
Mo 1
Mo Torboat. Spoken Word Artist. Musician. All round good egg..
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Dick Slick serenaded the audience…
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CHIYO

Drag King Open Mic Slots available!

We’re excited to announce that we have drag king open mic slots available!!

We’re planning our next A REYT QUEER DO, and there are a few drag king open mic slots available. These are for brand new drag kings or newbie kings who want more performance experience. It is not a paid opportunity though we can help out with some travel expenses and we always provide food and drink for our performers. You’ll also get a set of photos of your performance taken by our professional photographer and free entry and probably* free cake at our big queer party. Priority for slots will go to Kings based outside of London but all applications welcome! To apply, you need to be available on Saturday 12 May and be able to perform one 3 – 5 minute drag act. Head to our website and fill in our contact form with the title ‘drag king open mic’. Please give us:

  • Your drag king name
  • Where you are based
  • Any links to your drag king’s social media (this is not essential, just helpful).
  • A rough idea of what your act involves. Singing? Clowing? Dancing? Stand up?

Deadline to apply is 6pm on Monday 2 April! We look forward to hearing from you!

For more information on how we programme artists and content for our events, please head to the ‘How we Programme’ section of our website.

Andro and Eve x

*home baked cakes are an essential part of Andro and Eve events…

Drag King Romeo De La Cruz. Ndrika
Romeo De La Cruz at The Kingdom Come #2

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