Owners of The Glory Johnny Woo and John Sizzle, conjure a three-day carousel of contemporary drag on the Thames outside the National Theatre, that rivals the shows you’ve seen back home in Sydney at the Stonewall, Arq Nightclub and Sundays.
The weekend’s diverse programme features new shows, such as The Big Gay Songbook and An Afternoon At The Musical and presents emerging artists who have launched their careers on The Glory’s stage. In addition, Johnny Woo will be premiering his brand new children’s show, Mr Tiddle Tum Tums (these guys can multi task) and John Sizzle will be recreating some of The Glory’s most spectacular party nights. Party nights I hear you cry. Yes, expect a drag fuelled party like no other.
Glory Days will take place in front of the NT, which plays host to a free outdoor festival every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 29 July until 29 August. Along with The Glory, there will be take-over weekends from Latitude Festival (see you there), Mayfest, and Rambert, and a weekend of music, dance, performance and outdoor cinema.
“It’s a thrill to be announcing the 2016 line up for the River Stage festival. We are working with a range of partners from across the country, all of whom are creating and curating fantastic work across all genres. The festival offers something for everyone, bringing together an exciting and eclectic mix of live music, dance, performance and workshops free for all ages to enjoy,” said Rufus Norris, Director National Theatre.
So without further a due, this is what Glory Days has in store this weekend:
Friday 29 July, The Glory
Transformer 6:30 – 7.30pm
Lou Reed’s seminal 1972 album is re-imagined and revved up by a roaring live band fronted by East London star, Jonny Woo. Including renowned hits ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, ‘Perfect Day’ and ‘Hangin’ Around’ and lit with anecdotes of what might have happened at 60s NYC hangout Kansas City. Music is arranged by Marc Hayward from The Dash.
LIPSYNC1000 8 – 9pm
John Sizzle presents The Glory’s notorious drag queen battle, LIPSYNC1000, as they put on the biggest pop showcase in the world. East London stars Jonbenet Blonde and Jacqui Potato join Sizzle and their guests in this glamorous Top of the Pops-inspired drag show spectacle. Wigs, lips & all the pop hits!
GLO-RAVE 9 – 10.45pm
The sun might be setting but the party is just starting! Drag DJs John Sizzle and Jonny Woo invite you to a free GLORIOUS RAVE here at the River Stage. The sun might be setting but the party is just starting.
Saturday 30 July, The Glory
MR TIDDLE TUM TUMS & OTHER STORIES 1.30 – 2.30pm
Fun for all the family! Nightlife personality Jonny Woo gives a free sneak preview of his children’s show, which he is developing during a residency in the seaside town of Margate. Jump into the surreal world inhabited by the dandy feline Mr Tiddle Tum Tums, with his tongue twisters and stories. Find out how you really solve a problem like ‘Maria’ and meet the world’s first ‘Cardboard Princess’. With an original score and a supporting cast of actors and children. Expect fabulous costumes all round.
GRIZZLE! GET TROPICAL! 2.30 – 4.30pm
London’s ‘Drag DJ du jour’, John Sizzle, and his infamous Greek side-kick, performance artist ‘A Man To Pet’, present a summer edition of their Dalston-born tour-de-force drag night, GRIZZLE! Fresh from hosting a party for Ru Paul and taking Athens Pride by storm, this cheeky pair are transforming the River Stage into a sun-drenched tropical beach party, complete with dazzling performances, dance routines and even a Sexy Dads contest! With special guest DJ Annie Pics. Expect legs, capes and 69 flakes.
BIG GAY SONGBOOK 4.30 – 6pm
Irish pianist and songwriter Rudi Douglas plays ‘the songs that made me gay, and the songs that I’ve made gay’, with Jonny Woo hosting. Pull up a deckchair and mince down memory lane. Rudi Douglas counts Graham Norton and Alison Goldfrapp among admirers who’ve been to see his weekly Sunday night event Big Gay Songbook at The Glory. Catch it outdoors on the South Bank this summer.
DRAG-E-OKE 6 – 7pm
The world’s leading ‘bio queen’ Holestar teams up with John Sizzle for a drag-fuelled karaoke spectacular, attempting to break the world record for London’s biggest outdoor sing-a-long.
IT’S A ROYAL KNOCKOUT! 7 – 8.30pm
Put your history books away because tonight The Glory presents this treasure chest of East London’s most avant-garde drag queens and drag kings in a ‘game of thrones’ performance battle.
GLORIOUS 54 8.30 – 10.45pm
The River Stage is the setting for one hell of a chic disco party, paying homage to the glamour and drama of 70s New York clubbing, with a present-day East London twist. It’s a Who’s Who of the alternative scene with John Sizzle, Jonny Woo, and DJs Chaka Khan’t and Dance Armstrong. While the music plays expect catwalks, posing and flash choreography.
Sunday 31 July, The Glory
DRAG LIFE DRAWING 12 – 2pm
Morris Munroe brings his cult East London art class, ‘drag life drawing’, to the River Stage, hosted by Jonny Woo. Materials provided: come and sketch a Da Vin-SHE! The models will all be starlets of the East London underground scene. You can take your drawings home to treasure or contribute them to our outdoor drag gallery.
SIZZLE’S LUNCHTIME LOUNGE 2 – 3pm
John Sizzle plays the best in laid back Sunday grooves. Pull up a deck chair, pop open the Prosecco and soak up the Thames vibe while East London’s leading drag DJ spins a selection mix of chilled-out classics. Because Sundays are sacred.
AFTERNOON AT THE MUSICALS 3 – 4pm
Two-time Olivier award-nominee Le Gateau Chocolat and East London superstar Jonny Woo bring you this joyous outdoor matinee rendition of their infamously fun show, A Night At The Musicals. Billed as a ‘Les Mis-massacre’ – no musical is safe in this riotous tribute show. Carousel, Chess, Wicked, Grease – you name it, they’ll ambush it.
THE GLORY TEA DANCE 4 – 5pm
It’s your last chance to join Jonny Woo and John Sizzle as they wave goodbye to The Glory’s River Stage weekend with a final hour of feel-good, laidback grooves, pop-up shows and Sunday sing-a-longs.
All acts are subject to change. For further information, and for the full line-up of events during the River Stage festival, please go to: www.nationaltheatre.org.uk