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The Glory teams up with The National Theatre for drag festival ‘Glory Days’

By Fabio Crispim

The National Theatre has teamed up with The Glory, East London’s leading alternative queer performance space, to present ‘Glory Days’, a free festival of contemporary drag as part of The National Theatre’s River Stage festival.

Johnny Woo and John Sizzle come created a glorious three-day lineup which includes shows that have been developed at The Glory such as ‘The Big Gay Songbook’ and ‘An Afternoon At The Musical’.

Johnny Woo will also be premiering his new children’s show, ‘Mr Tiddle Tum Tums (& Other Stories) and John Sizzle will be recreating some of The Glory’s most spectacular nights.

‘Glory Days’ will take place on The National Theatre’s River Stage in front of the theatre, where free outdoor festivals will be taking place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 29 to August 29.

Alongside the Glory, Latitude Festival, Mayfest and Rambert will be hosting weekends with music, theatre and more.

Rufus Norris, the director of the National Theatre, said, “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.”

He adds, “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.”

You can take a look at the lineup for the weekend below:

Glory Days Line-up

Friday 29 July, The Glory



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 Sizzle

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

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 Tiddletumtums

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.



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.




Rudi Douglas, Irish pianist and singer, Big Gay Songbook

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.




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.



Royal knockout

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                                                                                                  

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

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 Loung Session

John Sizzle plays the best in laidback 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.



An Afternoon at the Musicals

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.



Tea Dance cropped

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.

For more information visit the National Theatre’s River Stage site.

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