This week our roving cabaret reporter, Jason Reid, got the full lowdown on The Very Miss Dusty O’s variety-inspired Birthday Ball which takes place at her palace of midweek fun, Trannyshack. Well, they do say variety is the spice of life, don’t they…  


Hey Dusty, tell us a bit about your Birthday Ball…


Well, it’s a ‘Boutique Variety Experience’, showcasing some of the acts we hope to include in my big one-off show at the Leicester Square Theatre in December – which is called ‘The Dusty O Variety Experience’.

Sounds brilliant. What have you got planned for that?

It’s a full on, old-school variety show with singers, dancers, speciality acts and of course me. I’ve been really interested in variety shows for years and think there’s a distinct lack of them in the West End. They have something for everyone and when presented in a polished and slick fashion are very entertaining .

Any favourites from the world of Variety?  

Danny La Rue, of course, who started off doing risqué and high end variety shows with Ronnie Corbett , Anita Harris and Barbara Windsor, amongst others. This led to his legendary run at the West End’s Palace Theatre.

METH! (Host)

You’re hosting the evening. How did you get involved?

Well, I’ve been a big fan of Dusty O ever since I moved to London. Trannyshack was one of my first drag experiences, so it’s beyond an honour to be hosting her Birthday Ball. I was one of the contestants in this year’s Tranny Academy and Dusty and I got on like a nunnery on fire during the competition.

What are you expecting?

I imagine it’ll be a raucous if not slightly bizarre mix between the good ol’ variety shows of yesteryear mixed with the best, rip roaring, mid-week partying Trannyshack has to offer.

As well as Tranny Academy you were also in this year’s Drag Idol. How were they both for you? 

Utter insanity. Perhaps foolish of me to compete in both simultaneously but I am very grateful for both experiences. Drag Idol exposed me to a wide range of venues and audiences, teaching me a lot about the scene and how I can keep my alternative and radical side without alienating a crowd. Tranny Academy pushed my creativity and stamina more than I ever thought possible, with two solid months of creating new acts every week. I’ve made so many great connections through both competitions; particularly my Tranny Academy sisters and the wonderful, the nurturing, the supportive, the ancient, The Very Miss Dusty O.

For people who haven’t seen you yet, how would you describe yourself and your act?

Meth is certainly not for the faint hearted but once you get a taste you’ll sure be craving more and more until you’re completely addicted! I like to disrupt expectations of drag and challenge audiences and the scene itself. My performance style mixes shock and gore tactics into popular music and culture. I’m heavily influenced by the American drag scene so I take pride in a polished aesthetic with some of the fiercest lip-syncing this side of the Atlantic. I relish in being the freak, the weirdo, the social misfit and the cultural pervert and I’ll make Meth Heads out of you all.


• Miss Polly Hoops
A hula hoop extraordinaire, dancer, street entertainer and clown. Polly is quirky, clever and keeps those hoops spinning like a woman possessed.

Dusty says: “I didn’t want the usual for the show, but also I really didn’t want anything too pretentious or self indulgent . I wanted TALENT. That’s why I asked Polly to perform.”

• Count Adriano Fettucini
A true variety all-rounder! Count Adriano spins plates, juggles, strips… AND rides a unicycle. Mixing circus skills, comedy and burlesque, Adriano is a unique treat.

Dusty says: “This is another variety act that we’re not used to on the gay cabaret scene. Adriano is a master of what he does. I promise you that his show will take your breathe away”.

• Jonathan Finch
A super sexy acrobatic circus performer who specialises in hand balancing. Prior to becoming a performer Jonathan dedicated fifteen years of his life to Acrobatic Gymnastics, competing at a national and international level.

Dusty says: “His show reminds me of ballet but with hand balancing. It’s a mixture of scary and sexy. He takes risks, but you just cant stop staring at his physique and amazing talent.”

• The Very Miss Dusty O’s Annual Birthday Ball will be at Trannyshack, Madame Jojo’s, 8-10 Brewer Street, Soho, W1F 0SE on Wednesday 10th July. Entry £5 until 12am, £6 after 12am, £1 for gender benders and freaks. 


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