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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Jason Reid’s Cabaret Interview: Shar Cooterie

I’m delighted to be starting my 2023 cabaret coverage with an artist that impresses me each time I see them perform. The wonderful Shar Cooterie is about to take their show, The (Stock) Cube, to east London’s most famous drag den, The Glory. Having achieved a very respectable second place at Pride’s Got Talent 2022, in which the standard was very high, Shar is most definitely an artist on the rise…

Happy New Year, Shar! What are you hoping for in 2023?
World peace, a working government, and fair pay for all. Failing that, I’ll settle short-term for more of the same for me. I’d like to keep on my upward trajectory towards middling cabaret stardom, and maybe break my streak of perpetual runner-up-hood.

Briefly describe what your objective is as an artist.
With my shows, I aim to be warm (well, I’m always warm… you can tell by the sweat!), inclusive and fun. I want to give people a good time without forgetting that it’s okay to acknowledge that somethings in the wider world are messed up. That’s why I end my gigs by saying: “Take care of yourselves, take care of each other.”

Your act and look is very distinctive indeed. How and why did you decide upon it?
It was my eventual reaction to what seemed to be the only way to do drag. I wanted to start back in 2013 but didn’t because I wasn’t pretty enough or could master a female illusion. Then I learned more about the scene; saw more than just a couple of televisual examples, and realised how delightfully varied drag is and can be. For me, my lack of hair is like a rejection of societal expectation; my make up is more clown than queen. Shar isn’t meant to be a woman; just a fabulous creature giving a great show.

What can people expect from The (Stock)Cube at The Glory?

The (Stock) Cube is a delicious cocktail (alcohol- free, don’t you worry!) of equal parts awful party games, non-coherent rambling and cabaret setlist, topped up with a desperation to please and garnished with actual physical prizes (that you can hold in your actual hands!). It’s going to be silly, campy and, most importantly, over soon.

One song that you adore performing?
When I sing ‘Over the Rainbow’, it’s like my love letter to the LGBTQ+ community. I performed it at the first Pride I sang at, and when I hit the end note, a wave of queer joy washed over me. It means so much to so many people, queer or otherwise, and to be able to deliver that song in a way that has affected people (or so they’ve told me) is genuinely
one of the most magical experiences of my life.

5 artists, alive or dead, that you’d invite to a dream drag dinner party?
Leigh Bowery, Bob the Drag Queen, Lilly Savage, Landon Cider and Divine.

Shar Cooterie presents:

The (Stock) Cubeis on Thursday 26 January at The Glory,
281 Kingsland Road, E2 8AS.

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