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To mark Halfway to Heaven’s 23rd birthday, guv’nor Angel Rubio and a galaxy of the scene’s brightest cabaret stars will gather this weekend for an extravaganza in aid of Cancer Is a Drag – a charity committed to offering financial support and wellbeing to those with cancer. Jason Reid spoke to some of the artists to find out their favourite times at the celebrated Charing Cross venue… 

Photo by Franc-Off Godevi

 


First Times

 

CATHY CREAM

My first time at Halfway was the semi finals of Drag Idol this year. That night Titti La Camp hosted and LoUis CYfer won. Kara Van-Park, LoUis and I spent the night celebrating and partying until the early hours! A fabulous way to mark my first time at a fabulous venue.

 

STEPHANIE VON CLITZ 

I first performed at Halfway to Heaven two years ago, with the legendary Bette Rinse. I remember being very nervous but incredibly honoured, because I was working with Bette. It was also my first time performing in a popular cabaret venue. Initially, I loved the look of Halfway, however I was shocked at how many pictures there were in one room [laughs]. I did look rather scary at the time as well – think Lady Gaga and David Bowie combined.

 

TANYA HYDE

I believe my first time was at CK’s first birthday, and I loved it. Before the show I was nervous; the Halfway crowd know what they want and that is to be entertained, yet after they make you feel so wanted and appreciated. They truly are the best crowd in the business. Seven years later and we’ve been family ever since and I can call Halfway home.

 

 

Backstage Times

 

BAMBI BOO

I think my funniest backstage moment was when Tanya, being my mentor for Bette Rinse’s ‘It’s a Knockout’, taught me the three things one needs to win a competition: a wide mouth, a deep throat and to always swallow.

 

KARA VAN PARK

It’s during my show that the real fun happens, but one occasion that stands out for me is when I had to race from one venue after a photo-shoot to get to Halfway with my drag bag and wig box. When I got there, I realised that my wig lace needed a good clean so I got out the nail varnish remover, poured it into a glass to use with a facial wipe, and as I did, Angel came in with a vodka for me. He’s such a kind boss! Being in a rush, I grabbed it, put it down on the side and continued to prep. When it came to cleaning my wig lace I just couldn’t understand why it wasn’t going as well as usual, until i took a swig of my vodka. Yep, I was cleaning the lace with my vodka and took a swig of the nail varnish remover. Luckily I didn’t swallow, a lady never should.

 

 

Proudest Times

 

ANGEL RUBIO

I’ve been at Halfway for five years in total, two of them as the manager, and without doubt my proudest moment would be Martha D’Arthur winning Drag Idol 2013 representing the venue, cementing the fact that Halfway to Heaven is the place for fantastic cabaret.

 

DUSTY SPRING

Being selected by the judges to represent Halfway at the Drag Idol final this year, of course! Despite winning the heat final with my tights hanging down my legs and my arse popping out that is.

 

MARTHA D’ARTHUR

Proudest moment? Hmmmmm, other than winning Drag Idol for Halfway obviously. Is that getting old yet? I think my five and a half hour Martha Marathon showed how wonderful a crowd can be if they take you into their hearts – such a fun day and a proud achievement for me. But my top moment was the West End Wendys fundraiser this year. Supported by fabulous acts and good friends for three great causes. The generosity of the punters at Halfway is a source of constant inspiration that there are still people in the world with incredible hearts.

 

 

Embarrassing Times

 

ROSE GARDEN

Well, about two years ago I was seeing two guys at once and they were both there at the same time. One was upstairs and one downstairs. I was running between the two. Unfortunately, it didn’t end well because one of them caught me giving the other a blow job in the dressing room. Oops!

 

MRS MOORE

Oh Lordy, I have embarrassed myself so many times at Halfway, I can’t think of one that stands out. Mainly because whatever happens on that Halfway stage, the audience are always so forgiving and it makes it not embarrassing. That says more about the audience than it does about me. [laughs].

 

• Halfway to Heaven’s 23rd Birthday is this Saturday 15th November at 7 Duncannon Street, WC2N 4JF from 4pm.  

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