The UK scene is abuzz with endless talent, Felix Le Freak is no exception. Competing on Drag Idol UK and appearing regularly on the cabaret scene he is a must watch and must see.
Dragadventures: Describe yourself in three words.
Felix Le Freak: West facing garden.
Dragadventures: Can you tell us more about when and how Felix Le Freak came to life? What’s the story behind your drag name?
Felix Le Freak: There was an incident at a petrol station outside Milton Keynes involving an ex-boyfriend and a shovel that definitely wasn’t mine and I’ve been on the run ever since. The cabaret scene seemed a good a hiding place as any. I’ve always been a cantankerous scallywag and so when I became a drag queen I thought she ought to have a boy’s name. And I love disco more than anything else on this earth.
Dragadventures: What’s the ‘freakiest’ thing you’ve ever done?
Felix Le Freak: I once let a guy pleasure me with a pear in an orchard. We nearly lost it forever!
Dragadventures: First performance memories or any other unforgettable moment while doing drag?
Felix Le Freak: I’m fairly sure I came out of my mother doing jazz hands so it would be hard to pick a single memory. My favorite drag act involves riding an upside down ironing board through the Swiss Alps with a wind machine on stage. I’ve done that one up and down the country and it never fails to be a triumphant moment!
Dragadventures: Have you ever had a fangirl moment when working alongside another queen?
Felix Le Freak: I was privileged to work alongside some of the Family Gorgeous at a swanky gallery event last year and of course they are all mind bendingly stunning and infuriatingly lovely to boot.
I missed my train and didn’t really plan my look at all so I ended up with ten minutes to spray paint myself pink, gaffer tape some netting into some sort of dress shape and throw on some novelty Timmy Mallet spectacles. I looked like the sad cousin of congealed Angel Delight.
Dragadventures: Thoughts on Rupaul’s Drag Race? Would you ever do a TV show similar to Drag Race if there was a UK version? Which challenges you would like to see on such a show?
Felix Le Freak: Drag Race has done an amazing job of popularizing the art form and creating celebrity stars but it’s still only one small facet of drag. I would love to see kings, female-identifying queens and trans performers on a UK version of the show as well as a greater emphasis on performance over aesthetics.
In US bars you can show up looking like a million bucks and just collect the dollar bills but in the UK cabaret scene, you need to be able to pull off a whole stage set. For me, drag is about performance first and looks last.
Dragadventures: You perform in Brighton and London, both of which have a thriving local drag scene. Can you give us some recommendations for venues and queens to check out? Do you see a difference between the two cities, drag-wise?
Felix Le Freak: My flagship night is Felix & Friends at The Old Nun’s Head on the first Friday of every month and it’s a huge, gorgeous, diverse queer cabaret variety show with all manner of kings, queens, and in-between.
I try to keep it funny but thought-provoking with a generous dollop of stupidity on the side. Besides that, my favorite venues to perform at are the legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Her Upstairs, The Glory and Halfway II Heaven, where I won my first competition.
The Brighton scene is very different because most of the established venues still book traditional, old-school queens but there’s a heaving underground of grassroots events showcasing alternative and contemporary drag. You just have to do a little more sniffing around.
Dragadventures: How was your experience on Drag Idol UK? Do you have any tips you would like to give this year’s candidates?
Felix Le Freak: Drag Idol was phenomenal – what a gauntlet. And I’m so delighted it’s open to all types of drag and LGBTQ performance. I won three heats and came in second place in all three of my venue finals last year but was selected by the committee as a wildcard to come back in the competition.
Unfortunately, my car broke down on the way to the national semi-final and I had to get towed in full get-up. I’m coming back this year with new material and much better makeup! My advice to anyone entering is to take the train.
Dragadventures: You organize monthly revues in London and Brighton. What can people going to ‘Felix & Friends’ expect? What’s the most challenging part of promoting such an event?
The biggest challenge of promoting events is getting sick of the sight of my own face! When you’re a drag queen and cabaret promoter, you’re doing a lot of your own marketing and whilst I’m passionate about promoting the performance aspect and events themselves, it feels a bit narcissistic ramming pictures of my own face down people’s throats all the time.
Dragadventures: If money and time weren’t an issue, which kind of performance/show would you put on and why?
Felix Le Freak: Honestly, I would just pay my artists more. I love that cabaret can be low budget if you’re creative with your acts. There’s an unparalleled buzz from creating treasure out of trash.
But I would like to compensate guest performers with fees in the hundreds that actually cover the time, skill and passion that goes into creating drag performance.
Dragadventures: Any future-related goals or projects (i.e. performances, appearances …) for Felix le Freak you’d like to share?
Felix Le Freak: The next Felix & Friends is a science fiction special on – you guessed it – May 4th at The Old Nun’s Head.