Lets meet LoUis CYfer!

With just over a month until our our Cabaret College, we caught up with award winning drag king and actor Lucy Jane Parkinson, aka LoUis CYfer who we’re collaborating with for this set of online workshops..

LoUis CYfer was the first Drag King to win the crown at Drag Idol UK and has gone on to become a well known performer in the UK cabaret scene. A regular collaborator with theatre company Milk Presents, they have performed in theatre shows across the UK, balancing their acting and writing alongside appearances as LoUis CYfer. Having led some drag king workshops for us back in November 2019 we’re thrilled they are back to work with us on the Cabaret College. 

An androgynous person dressed in plastic gold armour poses with a hobby horse while a glitter canon goes off behind them
Lucy Jane Parkinson in JOAN. Milk Presents.

Q. Can you tell us about your past work?

As well some stints working in a Chinese takeaway and Morrisons, I have worked in in some of the best cabaret bars in the UK. I’ve travelled all over the world from Texas to Australia, performing both cabaret and theatre. I’ve run workshops which raise awareness around gender, masculinity and drag, alongside some of my favourite people in the whole world (Milk Presents). Together we cleaned up at the Edinburgh fringe a few years ago winning a Fringe First, a Stage Award and Spirit of the Fringe for our hit cabaret theatre show: JOAN. I’ve done lots of work with Milk Presents with shows such as BULLISH and video poetry projects like MY ENGLAND. Before lockdown I had just finished a restoration comedy at the Young Vic Theatre and a drama for the BBC.

Q. What is the character of LoUis CYfer like?

LoUis is like nobody I’ve ever met, he’s charming yet cheeky, he’s strong and masculine but delicate like a soggy dandelion. He’s a dickhead that you can’t help but have fun with.

Q. What got you into drag / cabaret and what do you like best about it?

I was an artist studying my masters and at the same time was having a complete identity crisis; LoUis was my way of processing my confusion. The best thing about cabaret is that the show isn’t someone else’s script, it’s all your own, and having a stage for your voice, (albeit to pissheads), feels like a great opportunity to create discourse in an entertaining manner.

Q. Is there anything about drag and cabaret you’d like to see change? 

Drag and cabaret is always changing and is constantly in flux, if you want me to say I’d like to see more kings I’m not going to do that … What I would like is to be able to see more arts funding for this genre as lots of cabaret artists are living hand to mouth. It would be good if we could apply for funds to make our travelling performances more like conventional touring theatre in terms of having a team and budgets for lighting and sound. Being on your own and doing everything can be a real stress and sometimes you forget to enjoy it.

Q. What do you hope to achieve through the Cabaret College? 

I want to improve the quality of the work on the scene. I’m sick of seeing people have to enter all these competitions to get recognition. It’s not a good start and doesn’t facilitate self – sufficiency and critical reflection for the artist. It is crucial to equip creative people with the tools to make good quality work.

Q. As someone working in the performing arts how have you adapted under COVID? What are you excited about working on in future? 

I’ve gone digital baby!!! This includes working with my own avatar as a way to explore character and technology. I’ve started my own podcast called FANNY KLUB and have been working with my partner in crime Rebecca Banatvala on our queer theatre company Korupt Kabuki. We have been writing monologues for actors to perform to camera, writing our own comedy show BOXTICKERS and thanks to Daisy May Cooper we have been writing our first treatment for a TV show about how we met. It’s been all go here at HQ.. Before lockdown I was due to start 6 months at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in Twelfth Night so once things open up again I’m hopeful they will begin rehearsals and I’ll get my big break back!

Lucy leans over a table to help share drag king makeup skills to two participants who have painted on some thick eyebrows
LoUis facilitating a drag king workshop for Andro and Eve. Nov 2019

Can you tell us about someone that inspires you? 

Without trying to sound like a dickhead, no particular person inspires me. I find moments and memories inspiring but to be inspired I feel like you have to see something in someone else that you aspire to be or have.. I don’t feel like I’ve had the opportunity to see myself in anyone yet. Having said that I wouldn’t mind waking up one morning to find I am Jodie Comer, Victoria Wood, Robin Williams, Cathy Burke or Daisy May Cooper.

To find out more and apply for a place on the Cabaret College course head here and complete the short application form. Deadline 30 July. You can find out more about LoUis CYfer by following him on Instagram. 

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 of Korupt Kabuki, 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 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. Fees for the full course are £25 for General. £10 for Low Income. £50 for Solidarity. This pricing is made possible through funding from Arts Council England.

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.

We’re hiring!

We’re delighted to announce that we’re on the lookout for an enthusiastic Assistant Producer to join the Andro and Eve team. This freelance, fixed term role is offered both as a way for us to grow our capacity, and for someone relatively new to the arts or events industry to gain valuable experience in event production and audience development.

We encourage applications from those with less visibility in the arts and are committed to a policy of equal opportunities which requires that all staff, freelance contractors, volunteers and artists are treated fairly irrespective of their age, race, ethnicity or national origin, gender, sexual orientation or any disability.

Deadline for applications is 10am Friday 25 October. Interviews will be held in Sheffield on Friday 1st November. Full details on the role and how to apply available to download here:

Download: Assistant Producer Job Description Download: Equality and Diversity Form

New Acts Wanted!

Could you be the next Wesley Dykes? Got a new act you want to debut? Or test out a scratch performance in front of a friendly and supportive audience?

Open mic slots available

We’re on the look out for new queer performance to fill our open mic slots at our events at Cast in Doncaster on 13 November and Theatre Deli Sheffield on 30 November. We’re committed to developing talent in Yorkshire and hope by offering slots across two nights we’ll be able to programme as much Northern talent as possible.

For A Reyt Queer Do 4: Reyt Northern Edition (13 November) and A Reyt Queer Do: Shine Like a Diamond Edition (30 November) we’re on the lookout for any type / style of queer performance as long as its between 3 – 10 mins long. As well as getting to share your act with our wonderful community you’ll also get £50 to cover any expenses and some photos of your act.

To apply to perform please send the following  to [email protected]

  • Name of your act
  • Short description of the act / style of performance
  • Where you are based
  • Whether you can perform at either night, or only Sheffield OR Doncaster. 
  • A short bio of your performance experience (don’t worry if you have none, but do tell us why you want to take advantage of this opportunity)
  • A 3 – minute video of you performing. This could be a link to a video online, or send us a file to download. 

We want to support Northern talent and highlight marginalised voices, so if this applies to you, please apply! Deadline for applications midday on 23/10/19. If you have any questions please also drop us a line. All applicants whether successful or not will be informed by 01/11/19.

If you’re planning on attending our DRAG KING WORKSHOP WEEKEND on 9 – 10 November and want to use either of these events as a way to debut the act you plan to create, we also encourage you to apply for a slot!

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

A Reyt Queer Do: Birthday Edition!

Earlier this month we celebrated two years of Andro & Eve with a special edition of A Reyt Queer Do. It was nearly two years to the day that we first screened But I’m a Cheerleader in Cafe 9, Sheffield, and we marked the occasion with a night of drag king cabaret, cake and queer joy.

Oliver Assets
Drag King Oliver Assets – stoney faced guy.

We transformed Broomhall Community Centre with our trademark handmade decorations and we were happy to welcome new and familiar faces to the venue. One of our audience stating ‘the decorations were like something out of a dreamy retro prom dance’. Yasss!

_V3A0147 (1) copyThe vegan cake sold out super quick, and no less than eight drag kings performed, some for the first time. Host Zayn Phallic gave everyone life with his 90’s pop themed act. A humble leaf blower brought all the drama, conjuring up  Michael Jackson’s Earth Song in the best possible way.

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Zayn Phallic, host and King of the 90’s…

As always we want say a big thank you to our volunteers, who work so hard to make our events run smoothly. Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and supported the night, and to the kings for sharing their drag acts. We’re also grateful to Broomhall Community Centre for the use of their hall. _V3A0614 copy

This was our last event before the summer break but we’ll be popping up at various events over the summer, including DocFest next week! We’re working hard behind the scenes on the next steps for Andro and Eve. Make sure you’ve signed up to our mailing list to be the first to hear all the news from us!

Here’s some more snaps of our audience and drag kings…

Extra
Fact: More people leave with a fake moustache than arrive at Andro & Eve events..

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King Confusa
King Confusa!
Wesley Dykes
Mr Wesley Dykes

 

The Kingdom Come #3

On Saturday 10th March we brought The Kingdom Come back to Walkley Community Centre for it’s third outing and what a night it was. The event sold out well in advance and our enthusiastic audience certainly made the effort, turning up with more beards than we’ve ever seen before. Ginger? Crochet? Rainbow? Yep, they were seen at The Kingdom Come 3, along with some incredible outfits too.

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Yes this person did crochet this beard. They also had a ‘realistic’ brown crochet version!!

That’s just the audience. The line up of drag kings left us all gasping for breath with their hilarious and thought provoking drag acts. Luke Warm was the perfect host, charming the socks off the audience, getting them *really* involved and utilising a random glockenspiel to great effect.

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Luke Warm creates drama with our raffle

Richard Von Wild treated us to some super lip syncing and his Tony Stark was hella realistic.

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Richard Von Wild as Tony Stark, Disney Princess style..

Sigi Moonlight took us to the movies with his dramatic drag, while highlighting the issue of diverse representation in mainstream film with an act where he transformed into the Oscars statue.

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Sigi Moonlight serenades with ukulele

Joey Bambino floored us with his Silence of the Lambs themed act which was fantastically funny and creepy in equal measure.

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Joey Bambino wasn’t expecting it to be quite so cold in South Yorkshire..

Lastly, but by no means least, Oedipussi returned to The Kingdom Come to save the day, stepping into the large gap left by a poorly Zayn Phallic. Oedipussi’s costumes get bigger and more fantastical every time,  delighting the audience and even managing to give one of them their own striped beard. #sharethelove.

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Oedipussi; ‘has anyone seen a stick on eye? Think I’ve lost one’

The vegan cake went faster than you could say ‘I follow a plant based diet’ and the raffle was a hit, with our generous audience raising £184 towards our accessible ticket fund. This is brilliant, as we will be able to provide more tickets for those on low incomes at our next event.

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Luke Warm quite literally warms up the crowd!

We want to say a huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers who helped the night run like clockwork, we’re so grateful for those that give their time to help Andro & Eve develop. And of course thank you to Luke Warm, Oedipussi, Richard Von Wild, Joey Bambino and Sigi Moonlight for travelling to Sheffield and performing for us.

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Clockwise from top left, Oedipussi, Joey Bambino, Richard Von Wild, Sigi Moonlight, Luke Warm

Thanks also to Walkley Community Centre for letting us use their lovely venue, and SheFest for providing funding to support accessibly priced tickets. Lastly thank you, awesome audience, for turning out, dressed up and ready to cheer on our drag kings. You made it a night to remember. 

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Some of the audience felt so inspired they couldn’t help but werk onstage at the end!
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Yet more strong beard action from our audience..

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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