With spring apparently sprung, pretty much everyone seems to have forgotten that there is a pandemic going on, and things have more or less gone back to what they were before the plague.
Right on cue, Easter is here, and with it comes the promise of a long, mostly sunny, bank holiday weekend, which, unless your mood is dampened by mourning the death of your god, its the ideal time for much chocolate scoffing and hedonistic debauchery.
It would indeed be a shame to miss out, now that we are allowed to have some fun again. And so we’ve put together a list of some of the best events taking place in London over the Easter break. Most of them are free, because why not? and cost of living crisis and all that…
Right off the starting blocks, Freedom Bar is opening the festivities on Good Friday with its Easter roster of fun, with Mercedes Bends. Expect some hopping mayhem! And if you feel like putting that sexy bunny outfit on that’s been languishing at the bottom of your wardrobe, then go for it!!
What: Good Friday with Mercedes Bends
When: 15th April, 9pm to 3am
Book at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: Freedom Bar, 60-66 Wardour St, London W1F 0TA
Why not pop into Ku Leicester Square, and do a good deed. They are fundraising in support of OutRight Action International and the LGBTQ+ community in Ukraine. You can grab a print of an original painting by Mark Wardel created specially for KU ,100 signed and numbered limited edition fine art prints are for sale at £100 each from www.trashdna.com. A great way to feel virtuous while having fun!
What: Ku Bar Easter Weekend
When: 15th,16th,17th,18th April, 7pm
How much: free
Where: Ku Bar, 30 Lisle Street, London WC2H 7BA
If you fancy a more traditional approach to your gay shenanigans, The Old Ship is hosting three drag nights over the bank holiday. On Saturday, Sissy Lea, who, as you may have an inkling, hails from Sicily, will take to the stage for a spot of singing, cabaret, glam and sass. On Sunday, gender illusionist Wilma Ballsdrop, who, culminating at 8 foot 4, is “Wales’ tallest woman”, she will soothe your sore neck (from looking up at her) with her dulcet tones. And finally, on Monday night, veteran drag queen Davina Sparkle will round things up, and put the finishing glittering touches to that long weekend of bewigged fun, while, hopefully, cajole your sore heads (not from looking at her!).
What: Cabaret nights
When: 16, 17, 18 April, 9:30pm
How much: free
Where: The Old Ship, 17 Barnes Street, London E14 7NW
Meanwhile, trans women and their admirers, direct your steps towards one of London’s newest venues, trans owned and run Zodiac Bar this Easter Weekend. The welcoming motley crew at Zodiac will be hosting in the bar and the new Z Club downstairs, right through to the early hours, As usual, there will be performances and hot gogos to amuse and titillate in equal measure.
What: Z Club & Zodiac Bar
When: 9pm till late
How much: £7 to £11 depending on who you are and when you are buying.
Where: ZODIAC Bar, 119 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 3EE
If you prefer bears to bunnies, fear not, for the Kings Arms, in Soho, has got you covered. They are in fact going for the full house, and have extended their opening hours (till 1am). On Friday you can shake a leg for the Good Friday Easter Special of Beers Bears Beats with AMYL (bunny ears are optional, we understand, but possibly recommended). On Saturday, it’s All Sorts, till 2am, with Phil Marriot, and on Sunday we have Bearaoke (they sure like singing, down there!) with Jivin’ Julie. And it’s all free!
What: Singing bears (mostly)
When: 8:30pm till at least 1am (except Sunday – midnight)
How much: Free
Where: The King’s Arms, 23 Poland Street, London W1F 8QJ
This Easter Saturday, you are invited to Above the Stag’s newly revamped bar to help the team welcome the summer season. Hosted by Rotherham’s finest export since Paul Shane – Myra Dubois, this Easter Eggstravaganza will woo you with a complimentary welcome drink from 6pm, hot canapés, and (from 8pm) a cabaret showcase, featuring a slew of upcoming talent specially selected for your delectation and amusement. The dancing happens from 11pm.
What: Easter Eggstravaganza
When: 16 April – 6pm to 1am
How much: free
Where: Above the Stag, 72 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TP
For the nostalgic among you, DJs Wayne Dhesi and Paul Joseph, the guys behind Athena, will be playing the best pop and dance music from the last 40 years. You can be sure they’ll have all the bangers, the beauties and the tracks you forgot you love, and those you secretly do love and feel a little ashamed to admit you do. They are also promising retro visuals with iconic music videos, commercials, TV, movie and pop culture moments to spice up the proceedings.
When: 16 April – 9pm to 4am
How much: Free before 10pm, then £8 non-members, £6 members
Where: Eagle London, 349 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5QY
A bit further south of the river (if you dare!), the Two Brewers is waving the prospect of a Cheeky Easter Weekend at you. Thusly named because, in addition to cabaret by Danny Beard, Karla Bear, Sandra, plus the Power of 5, not once, but twice with Marsha Mallow, Miss Jason, Snow White Trash, Bleu Woodward and Sandra, banding together for your entertainment.
What: Cheeky Easter
When: 15-18 April
Where: The Two Brewers, 114 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UJ
On the other side of London, but still sarf, Ye Olde Rose & Crown, Greenwich, is serving drag queen, sass and songs, as part of its regular programme of such fare. This special weekend, there’s no chocolate on offer but instead: Poppadom Shake and Candy Heels. No, that’s not the menu but the acts. They will be on duty, on different nights, to man the stage like the true ladies that they are. What a succulent feast!
What: Poppadom Shake
When: 16 April – 12 noon to midnight
What: Candy Heels
When: 17 April – 12 noon to 10:30pm
How much: Free entry
Where: Ye Olde Rose & Crown, 1 Crooms Hill, Greenwich SE10 8ER
The Finery, just off Oxford Circus, is serving a roast(ing?) with Saucy Sophie, as an ‘alternative drag brunch’. The queen of patter and East London legend brings you her Sunday Service with Stevie Tee for an afternoon of camp frolics and sharp-tongued comebacks. There’s plenty of booze (Prosecco and cocktails) to wash down the two course meal, and for those who can still stand after all that, dancing until late.
What: Sunday Service
When: 17 April – 3pm to 10pm
How much: £35 (£5 goes to Macmillian)
Where: The Finery, 23 Great Castle Street, London W1G 0JA
£5 from each ticket sale goes to Macmillian support
If you fancy letting it all hang out this Easter Saturday, and showing everyone your very own Easter eggs, there is no where else quite like TFN. Every Saturday at the very centrally located Covent Garden Health Spa, expect a fun evening from 9pm til 2am.. a cracking good time guaranteed.
What: Easter Saturday TFN
When: 16th April – 9pm to 2am
How much: £18 (including first drink and coat check )
Where: Covent Garden Health Spa. 29 Endell St, London WC2H 9BA
When: 16th April – 1opm to Late
How much: £8
Where: The Backstreet. Wentworth Mews, London, E3 4SP
But not everyone is necessarily up for a fuss this weekend. It’s also good to stay in your grove sometimes and do something relaxed without frills. If you feel that’s you, or perhaps if you simply want somewhere to run away from the in-laws, then we have a few recommendations for you too, so you don’t feel left out, cause we’re nice like that.
First, there is this staple of Soho and the scene, The Yard, with an al fresco courtyard that looks suddenly very inviting indeed, with a mostly optimistic weather forecast for the weekend. Not too far from there, another veteran of the scene, The City Of Quebec will welcome you with open arms at the end of long shopping forage down Oxford Street. And if you live in the wilds of Wimbledon and are not planning on travelling to central London, CMYK is the place for you, and you can bet they’ll still be good for a bevvy or five, and a boogie.
Perhaps, however, you’d rather make sure that Jesus didn’t die for nothing. If you are feeling particularly sinful this weekend, and you fancy flushing out a bunny or two, ready to nibble on your carrot (or you theirs – we don’t judge!), you could do much worse than popping in at Vault 139, near Warren Street Tube station (not far from the above-mentioned Zodiac, in fact). It’s open every day between 1pm and 1am, and you get a free drink and coat check with your £11 admission fee (£10 for members).
If you like to mix pleasure with… erm… well, pleasure, then a spot of spa therapy, on top(!) of more hands-on activities are to be found at Pleasuredrome, in Waterloo. That’s open 24/7, the entrance fee is £20, and between relaxing Jacuzzi and sauna or steam room sessions, you can either sip something at the bar, or see who’s happening in the darker recesses.
But no matter what you get up this weekend (and there is plenty to get up to!), make sure you have a lot of fun, and always be as safe as possible. Now, off you go!