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No stranger to huge audiences, Ruby Murry took to the Britain’s Got Talent stage recently and was met with a wave of love after performing Nessum Dorma.

 


It was one of ‘those ‘ talent show moments. You know the type? Simon Cowell almost cracks a smile; random girl in the audience gasps, and then they crank up the big dramatic Mariah Carey track. Ahead of an exclusive performance at Sink the Pink and (hopefully) preparing for the BGT live shows, Ruby spoke to Jason Reid this week…

Congratulations on your spectacular audition. How has the public reaction been since? 

It’s been amazing. A huge positive response from friends and strangers, especially through social media.

Were you nervous when the show aired? 

Nervous? I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like it in my life. I’m used to being onstage performing, and in that situation I’m the one in control, doing what I do. But when you put yourself in the hands of the Britain’s Got Talent editors it’s scary because you don’t know how it will be presented on the actual show.

What happened on the actual day of the audition? 

It was a very overwhelming day. My audition in January was at the Liverpool Empire. Throughout my chat with the judges I was getting laughs and jokes, so I think they were expecting something comedic from me. Obviously when I opened my gob and started singing opera there was a big element of surprise. Then the whole audience stood up, and the reaction that followed from the judges was great.

What were your expectations going into it? 

I kind of hoped it would go well because it’s a bit different: a man in drag singing a male tenor song. I first started performing it in Ibiza a couple of years ago, as part of my Monday night residency at Pacha. Having three thousand (slightly worse for wear) clubbers in front of me at 2am in the morning transfixed as I sang Nessum Dorma was quite something. I realised then it could work in a variety of environments.

Let’s talk a bit about your background. Which came first, opera or drag? 

I studied at a drama school in London from the age of 18 to 21, and at the same time I was learning classical singing. I’d say the singing came first.

“Nervous? I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like it in my life.”

Why did you decide to combine the two? 

A few years ago I was working as a musical director in the holiday industry, and I became more and more aware of how much I was missing performing. As I’d spent so much time in Ibiza, I knew some friends who ran an entertainments company so I approached them with a view to producing my own show. They said they’d love to have a live drag show as it was something that was missing from their catalogue. I decided to give it a go; I wrote a full show and performed in it myself. To close the show I would belt out Nessum Dorma, which always went down a storm. One night the powers that be from Pacha approached me. They said they were looking for someone who personified their club night, the slogan of which was, ‘It’s not over till the fat lady sings’. So of course I jumped at the chance, and before I knew it I had a twenty week residency. All from putting myself in a drag show that initially I wasn’t sure I was wanted to be in.

It must’ve been fate! Back to BGT briefly, you’re through to the live semi-finals, right? 

Well… I couldn’t possibly say. But please keep watching and you’ll find out.

Brilliant. That damn confidentiality clause must be a pain. Hypothetically speaking, if you were in the live shows, what would you do? 

I think it’s about being diverse. They’ve only seen one colour of Ruby. Moving forward it’d be about doing something slightly different and incorporating comedy and humour.

• Ruby will be performing at Sink the Pink on 11th June.

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