Old Ship

03/07/16: 8pm on a sunny summer’s evening and the Old Ship pub is shining like a true east end Gem.

Situated in the center of Limehouse the Old Ship really is one of the last traditional gay boozers left in the Capitol. Always busy on a Sunday, the pub is full of fun loving queens and their local friends of varying ages, gender and sexuality.

You are hit immediately with the feel of community both from the customers and the very friendly staff. Serving at the bar is bubbly landlord John and lovely long-term bar lady Diane, although most of the guys are waiting to be served by sexy young barman Phil.

This week cabaret is supplied by popular local act ‘Candy – Slag in Drag’ With a huge wig twice her own body weight, Candy stumbles straight from the smoking area through the crowd chatting to all the regulars on the way through. She arrives to the stage just in time to sing her opening number ‘Let Me Entertain You’ which she has changed the lyrics to in true Candy style.


With patter so blue ‘it would make a whore blush’ Candy jumped from one taboo to another with her no-holds-barred comedy much to the delight of most of the queens.

On to her rendition of ‘Lonely Goat Herd’ Candy reminisces about ‘double dropping’ ecstasy and taking acid all to the Sound of Music soundtrack. With more blue jokes about rimming, Candy manages to have us laughing at everything that we shouldn’t laugh at.

Finally she reminds us that her picture was on the front of the Guardian for Pride before bursting into a  naughty version of ‘The Winner Takes It All’ and it’s goodnight!

17 Barnes Street, E14 7NW

Words by Jason Prince

Photos by Joel Ryder

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