The British drag scene has moved from working men’s clubs to lucrative mainstream. Kim Normanton meets three very different drag entrepreneurs. We talk to the men behind the wigs and lashes and explores questions about gender identity in modern Britain.
Lee Sanderson, aka ‘Peggy Lee’, had a market stall in Blackpool but now runs a flourishing drag business with venues across the Canary Islands, which entertained 90,000 tourists last year. Back in the UK, Walt Utz is the founder of the Supreme Fabulettes – four young drag queens who travel the world performing close-harmony singing. The ‘girl’ band are filling mainstream theatres with a mixture of gay and straight audiences. The third entrepreneur, Amy Redmond, is the manager of a new kind of drag business Sink The Pink. “To physically look at there’s a very strong difference from a traditional camp northern drag queen to a Sink The Pink drag queen. They have beards and a hairy leg sticking through the fishnet. It’s a man dressing up and playing with gender; he’s not hiding his male traits – its intention is total freedom of expression and self.”
11th May 2015 at 11am, BBC Radio 4.