KINGDOM Drag King Cabaret, Brighton

Myself and a few Brighton Girl’s were positively THRILLED to be invited to Kingdom’s Drag King Cabaret at Latest Music Bar. Brighton's premier Drag King show is one that prides itself on creating a safe and fun space for gender expression in all that ways that it can manifest.

Going into the show, I wasn't sure what was in store. I mean, I’ve been to multiple drag queen performances, but drag king!? This was a totally new experience, even for the queer lady that I am.

Our MC for the night was Nailor Swift, a fabulous metrosexual nerd, who we were lucky enough to have spoken to before the festivities began (interview coming soon!) They made it clear that the most important part of the show was the feeling of love, support and respect between the audience and the performers.

Flynn Rideher opened the show and set the bar high. Debuting their freestyle rap and a freaking gorgeous glittery chest, the crowd roared. For Flynn’s first time on stage, they did not hold back in the slightest!  

Sammy Silver is without a doubt the lovable teddy ‘bear’. From the moment they took the stage, they delighted us with a playfully whimsical performance embracing all that encompasses Bearness - after all, the Bearnecessities are what life's all about! This was followed by a perfectly choreographed disco number that had me in stitches with how well executed the moves were between song changes!

Rico Del Ray, the Latin Lothario of the evening, has a voice that would melt the heart of anyone that heard them sing! Rico’s first number saw them belting out a broadway classic that gave me, and no doubt everyone else, chills. Later in the show, Rico came out with a truly sexy and fiery burlesque number that no one was expecting!

Who could forget the pure sex god Zac Backandcrack? Ooozing 70’s love god lothario charisma, he seduced every member of the audience (I was certainly hot under the collar). With a sneaky surprise at the end of the number, I can assure you that no one left questioning his sexual prowess.

Benjamin Butch, the King of The Fringe, taught us all how to D-I-S-C-O and left nothing to the imagination. Gyrating and embodying the essence of Saturday Night Fever, Benjamin’s performance was humorous and sexy in all the right ways.

DSC_0309.jpg

Straight outta a Texas rodeo, Max Legroom brought a country twist to the evening with some truly enviable outfits. Introducing songs I had never heard before, Max had me transfixed by the kinky and cheekiness of the performance. Who doesn't need a lil bit of cowboy in their life?

The sumptuous MiMi Kraft showed us all what it was to be fab-u-lous. Rocking flaming red head of hair and a peek-a-boo white dress, MiMi shook what her mumma gave her and made us all see that big is not only beautiful but damn unapologetic - hallelujah!

What was most striking about the show was the diversity in performers and between performances. We never really knew what to expect and I LIKED IT! We were left guessing, laughing and in awe the whole evening.

It’s rare to find a space where you can instantly feel that there is nothing but positivity and frivolity in the room. Kingdom encapsulates that feeling by carefully curating a space where you can run wild - or not. The buzz in the room was titillating!

An impromptu encore to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ demonstrated the love between the performers and the playfulness that Nailor Swift had spoken to me about before the show.

I felt a genuine admiration for the all of the Kings and a little flustered by the unfaltering sexiness of each and everyone of them! At one point there was a best dressed competition where audience members who had come dressed as kings took to the stage, and I am not afraid to say that there were some very dapper, very sexy Kings up there - one redhead in particular!  

The night was full to the brim with gender-bending magic and everyone was confronted by the unabashed sexuality of all that took the to stage. This may have been my first Kingdom night, but it certainly won’t be my last!

The next KINGDOM Drag King Cabaret is on 4th May at Latest Music Bar. You can find details here.

Written by Holly.

All photos are by Kitty Wheeler Shaw. Kitty is a freelance photographer; you can find out more on her website and by following her on Instagram @kittywshaw.

ArtsBrighton Girl