Last month our drag king cabaret, The Kingdom Come made its long overdue return to Sheffield. Suffice to say, we were very excited. The queer future is here, and drag kings are definitely part of it!
Taking over another new venue for us, Crookes Social Club, we transformed this community venue into a silvery, spacey fantasy ready for our stellar line up to take to the stage.
Our hosts for the evening was the ‘godfather of the modern UK drag king scene’ Adam All, and his partner, Apple Derrieres. With Sigi Moonlight, Mark Anthony, Romeo De La Cruz and Brokeback Yorkshire, our sold out audience was treated to thrills and spills all over.
With Adam and Apple blasting out the power pop anthems, Mark Anthony treating us to his seductive boylesque moves, Brokeback Yorkshire being the campest and sexiest gay cowboys we’ve seen, Romeo De La Cruz powerfully commanding the stage with their choreography and Sigi Moonlight taking us on a sublime yet silly seaside journey!
This was also our first live show where we were able to offer audio description, beautifully delivered by Dot, and our BSL interpreter, Max smashed out the BSL with panache galore.
A huge thanks to Crookes Social Club for the warm welcome, to all our artists and crew and brilliant volunteers for helping things run smoothly. We also want to say massive thanks to our community, who on the night, through fervent raffle action, managed to raise £246 for our Pay it Forward Ticket fund. This fund helps us provide free and discounted tickets to those who need them at future events.
The Kingdom Come: Queer Future Edition was our last event of 2022, but we’ll be back in 2023 with more queer joy and delight. Just make sure you’ve signed up to our newsletter to be first to hear about upcoming events and opportunities.
You might remember him from our online discussion with Festival of Debate last year, Drag Beyond the Binary, or if you’re a long term Andro and Eve fan, you might have seen him on our stages in 2018!
Ahead of The Kingdom Come, we caught up with him. As somewhat of a chameleon in the drag scene, we thought we’d dig a bit deeper and find out more about this amazing artist!
1. We first had you perform in Sheffield in 2018. How did you get into drag?
I always used to play the male roles at the all girls’ schools I went to, and that was my first approach to performing masculinity and being on stage. I didn’t perform for a while after that. Even though I loved being on the stage, I never felt any of the castings mirrored my gender or racial identity.
Then in 2017, I saw my first ever drag king, johnsmith, who just happened to be performing in Leeds where I used to live. That was when it clicked. I took part in your king workshop led by Adam All and Apple Derrieres a month later and that’s where Sigi Moonlight was born. Shortly following that I came third in Man Up! drag king competition at The Glory, East London and it swiftly took off from there; it felt like I was meant to have been doing this all along.
2. Can you tell us about the character of Sigi and how you approach your drag performances?
My drag name is a play on Ziggy Stardust and it’s an expression of everything that’s gone a bit wrong with masculinity. Sigi was born in 2017, the same year that Donald Trump became the POTUS, and to me that spelled the beginning of the end for humanity. Just like Ziggy Stardust, Sigi is a bit of an alien sent to earth, an empty vessel who embodies different types of masculinity in order to shine a light on the weird and terrifying extremes it has reached. My “Siginature” (excuse the pun) style is taking an overtly darkly masculine character and flipping it on its head to reveal a softer, more feminine interior in the form of striptease and comedy.
3. We last caught up with you in a Festival of Debate Q&A in May 2021, what have you been up to since then?
I’ve since joined PECS Drag King Collective, graduated from drama school, got an agent, starred in an HBO series, played on a West End stage, performed in a lead role in Mulan Rouge at The Vaults in Waterloo, and been on a Netflix tour with drag race queens performing at venues across the UK promoting new forms of drag to audiences who’ve never seen a drag king before!
4. You’re part of the Bitten Peach collective. Can you tell us a bit about that, and what you enjoy about performing with them?
The Bitten Peach is the UK’s only Queer Pan-Asian Performer Collective aiming to address the balance of Asian performers on lineups in cabaret and live performance spaces as well as showcase the excellence of Asian talent on the drag and cabaret scene. I have performed in as well as hosted shows with them since they were formed in 2019.
The best thing about performing with The Bitten Peach is the strong sense of community and identity that is served up to make each and every show really special and heartfelt. It doesn’t just feel like any old “gig”; everyone is committed to performing and preparing well, and the spirit in our rehearsals and final shows is very apparent. I also love our outside social occasions like hot pot dinners and sports day events. It feels like being part of one big loving family! I’ll next be appearing in The Bitten Peach Halloween Whodunnit Show on Wednesday 19th October at The Pleasance Theatre in Islington… keep an eye on their socials for tickets!
5. What or who inspires you either in the world of drag or queer performance or any arts and culture?
I look to the aesthetic styles of the 50s and 60s for many of my own fashion sense, poses and direction in my photoshoots and acts. The film rebels, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and James Dean, are and will forever be my idols when it comes to style and eschewing the boundaries between masculine and feminine performance onstage and onscreen. In terms of drag artists, I am in awe of the make up talents of Landon Cider, the prop and costume making skills of Oedipussi Rex and Marnie Scarlet, the charisma and voice of LoUis CYfer and Beau Jangles, and the clowning wonders of Fancy Chance. However, I’m also very amazed by the upcoming drag king talent who have emerged the last couple of years.
6. What would you like to see or make happen as part of a hopeful queer future?A mainstream show on a worldwide platform that rivals RuPaul but welcomes and celebrates drag kings. There are more and more talented kings on the scene each year, so I hope it’s only a matter of time before we enter the mainstream.
We’re delighted to share that this May, as part of Sheffield’s Festival of Debate, we are producing two online events.
The first is DRAG BEYOND THE BINARY, a panel discussion, chaired by Andro and Eve’s artistic director, Finn Warman, that aims to shine a light on the UK’s exciting drag scene, exploring how drag has helped expand many people’s understanding of gender. This will take place on Monday 10 May at 5.30 – 7pm.
The panel of UK drag artists including Wesley Dykes, Venus Dimilo and Sigi Moonlight (pictured above) will be reflecting on the ways drag has helped them explore their own sense of identity. With the rise and rise of drag queens in UK culture, this discussion and Q&A will also discuss this visibility, and provide space to reflect on drag beyond the binary and its importance for LGBTQ+ communities.
The second event, on 17 May at 7.30pm, is a Gender Exploration workshop. This workshop will provide a space for those questioning or wanting to explore their own gender. Andro and Eve’s Artistic Director Finn Warman will be joined by drag artist Christian Adore, to facilitate this creative and playful session.
Using conversations and creative exercises, this workshop will help participants reflect upon and be inspired by different ways to express gender in their own lives, rather than on stage. We’ll be getting participants to think beyond the binary and enjoy some gender fluidity! It is intended as a space for self reflection and connection for people of marginalised and diverse genders.*
We’re really pleased to be part of this renowned Sheffield festival that explores politics, economics and society. When you identify as LGBTQIA+, the personal is political, so its great to be platforming and making space for a diverse range of LGBTQ+ identities. Check out the full programme, happening throughout May, on their website here.
Further info and ticket links can be found on our events page. We hope to see you at one or both events!
Photo credit of Sigi Moonlight – Corinne Cumming
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