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Thursday, June 20, 2024

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Jason Reid’s Cabaret Interview: This Christmas Jason chats to Cabaret STAR Reuben Kaye!

What better way to end 2023 than chatting about queer rage, masculinity, and Christmas wishes with a scintillating international cabaret star who is just about to begin at run at the Southbank Centre. The one and only, Reuben Kaye…

Is queer rage (with a fabulous showbiz smile, of course) vital to your art?

It’s not just vital, it’s the load-bearing pillar. I’m bored of seeing velvet rage become polyester apathy. Or worse, velour ennui. Our liberation is born of protest. It was conceived in a riot. And that riot is all of our birthright. But the best part is that we get to not just on the streets with anger, we get to rebel with a wry smile, a wink with humour and joy. Our sex lives were politicised for centuries so why shouldn’t we fuck it up.

With that in mind, who is a Reuben Kaye show for?

EVERYONE. My show is for anyone who’s ever felt marginalised. Anyone who’s ever felt unseen or unheard. Anyone who’s been catcalled, assaulted, made to feel unsafe, marginalised in any way. My show is a safe place for dangerous people and church for those of us who will never get into heaven but have spent a lot of time on our knees.

Tell us briefly about The Butch Is Back! Exploring the link between masculinity and the apocalypse sounds intriguing?

Isn’t it insane that this is such a relevant question? And so endlessly disappointing that we can’t find a way to address it. The version of masculinity we’ve been sold is as one with the apocalypse. We’ve been fed it like pâté geese as the peak of our society. It’s like we’re seeing a resurgence of Nietzschean fuckboys. I long for the days to come when we view masculinity as a kink and nothing more.

I think we all feel that the current climate is at boiling point. The meniscus is stretched to breaking point. A sensation I am more than familiar with. I’m sorry I tried to give an adult response, I really did.

Do you think masculinity is still necessary?

Sure it is. How else will we know what to avoid? I make a lot of jokes but in reality, there is more than one type of masculinity. And we have come to fetishise the worst traits of it and use that as a catch-all. We’ve positioned masculinity as the goal instead of a by-product. Instead of something to be used in service to the greater good of society, it becomes about dominance instead of creation. That’s dangerous and even worse, boring.

Your message to anti-drag extremists?

Try it. Just once.

Above all else, what would you like for Christmas?

World peace. Failing that, one night with the French rugby team and an industrial tub of custard.

Reuben Kaye’s The Butch Is Back plays at Southbank Centre (Purcell Room), Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX from the 7th to 30th of December.


You can also catch Jason, With his first cabaret interview of 2024, right here next month. Or give him a follow @jasonreiduk



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