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The cabaret star tell us their favourite stuff about our gorgey city.


Remember that YouTube clip Busy Drag Queen that everyone was sharing like mad on social media a few years ago? Well, whenever we think of that we instantly think of Michael Twaits, who is undoubtedly one of the busiest queens on the scene, and one who tends not to big themself up.

So let us do it instead: Michael is an all-round drag virtuoso and an encourager who has ALWAYS got a project on the go. From hosting Pride’s Got Talent and the Pride in London Main Stage, to teaching the Art of Drag to cabaret starlets at the RVT.

Now, Michael is dedicating a whole new residency to two of his greatest loves as an artist: musical theatre and improvised comedy. And it’s in the heart of the West End!

This week, Jason Reid dragged himself away from the hysteria of the Drag Race All Stars 3 announcement [HUGE SARCASM KLAXON] and caught up with Michael to find out his go-to London places as a punter…


Bar/Pub

My new home, the Phoenix Artist Club, of course. I love the atmosphere, and the theatrical campery that adorns every wall. It always feels a bit like Cheers walking in there. And it’s never rammed to the extent that you can’t move, which is perfect because that means you can still have a decent conversation. I love how I’m only one category in and I already sound like Nana Twaits. Can I mention Her Upstairs so I seem down with the kids? I love that they have created a proper queer run, queer space, and are providing so many opportunities for young performers.

Theatre 

I love theatre! I’m a big fan of the National and Soho Theatre but I will always go back to OvalHouse. They supported me as a young artist and have helped so many friends and colleagues create beautiful work in a way that other venues just can’t. It’s a bit off the beaten track, it’s not the coolest kid in the class but there’s always some gold.

Cabaret Venue

The RVT. No question about it. It’s my favourite venue to perform at and to be a punter at. There is so much history baked into those walls and soaked into those red velvet curtains. I just love it!

Club

I’m very old, so I don’t tend to go clubbing unless I’m performing. I have been known to frequent Sunday Social at the RVT on the odd occasion. And Sarah Bodalbhai often drags me for a midweek boogie at Freedom

Open Space

I love the South Bank! A walk from London Bridge to Westminster Bridge, which passes a lot of my favourite venues: the Globe, Tate Modern, National, BFI – beautiful views and great spots for food and drink.

West End Show

I’m very excited to see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Dan Gillespie Sells has done a lot with Pride in the past and I love his writing. It’s also really exciting that they are using real, working drag queens with Vineger Strokes and Vileda Moppe taking to the West End stage. Take note Kinky Boots! I’m also very excited about Hamilton; I saw it in the states and can’t wait to see how a British cast handle it.

Hidden Gem 

CellarDoor

Whenever I have visitors from outside of London I take them to Cellar Door for intimate cabaret and amazing cocktails. I really can’t understand why the gays don’t flock there on a Monday night. It’s located right in the middle of town, on the Strand, it has me, Topsie Redfern, Ginger Johnson and my OLDEST drag friend Cosmic sharing the night. All accompanied by Sarah Bodalbhai on the piano. Week after week we play there – mostly to straight folk and tourists who think it’s the wildest night out they’ve ever had.

West End Roulette is every Wednesday, 9pm, at Phoenix Artists Club.

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