TuckShop producer Christopher Clegg: 'I really want to do a Drag staging of Lord of the Flies'
The producer chats all things Drag
Drag company TuckShop has been making waves in the West End over the last year – knocking audiences for six with "Drag-atha Christie" murder mystery Death Drop. They now bring a festival of spectacular performance to the Garrick Theatre. We catch up with producer Christopher Clegg to find out more.
1) How do you think the world of drag has been transformed over the last few years?
I think the obvious answer is that Drag Race has changed the commercial side of Drag. It's opened up a whole new audience and put it at the forefront more. For me, I've seen a huge rise in visibility for other kinds of Drag. Drag Kings, AFAB performers, and drag "things" are now much more prevalent. It's great for me to see how much the art form is evolving, and the queer community is embracing all kinds of drag, not just those seen on TV.
2) What has programming the festival allowed you to do?
It's allowed me to give platforms to lots of different performers who might not get a chance like this. We can show the beautiful mixture of drag on a large scale, and we can show that it's a viable art form that can exist outside of clubs and brunches.
3) What were some of the things you learned from staging Death Drop?
The thing I take away most from Death Drop is the range of people who came to see it. Drag really is for everyone, people love it, and when the quality and production values are there to match the talent onstage, it can elevate it to a new level.
4) We've seen some incredible producers making change on big stages over the last year – how has it felt being at the forefront of that?
Firstly, thanks for saying I'm at the forefront! It's nice to be part of a new wave of producers who are getting to hopefully shape the industry for the better. There's still chance to happen, but theatre owners like NIMAX have helped, and we need more of that. Theatre is EXPENSIVE to make, and we need to make it more accessible to voices and people who don't come from a privileged background. I'm a working class, norther, queer boy, I never had lots of money or anything and have had to fight to get here, but it's worth it. Seeing the joy performers AND audiences get from what I am doing is honestly the best.
5) Are there any dream projects you are itching to put together?
Oh gosh, SO MANY! We're currently trying to adapt a movie (or two) for the stage, and I really want to do a Drag staging of Lord of the Flies….! It'd be CARNAGE! Anything I can do to platform drag, queer theatre, and make people happy, I will!
Clegg's TuckShop West End – a summer festival of drag shows and performances, continues until 7 August.