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Jason Reid’s Cabaret Interview: This May Jason chats to Don One

Given my very candid and unwavering point of view regarding the monarchy, I thought it was only right that I mark this unedifying coronation period by speaking to a king I actually admire.

Don One has quickly become a favourite of many on the UK cabaret circuit, and I am totally here for it. Their performance style is charming, completely authentic, and full of heart. We caught up to talk about Man Up (the drag king competition Don One co-hosts at The Glory), the secret to their happiness which is always so striking, up-and-
coming cabaret artists, and more…

Hey Don! Thanks for taking the time to chat. I know you’ve been a very busy king of late. What’s been your professional highlight of 2023 and why?

My absolute highlight of this year so far has been doing the live voiceover for Joe Lycett’s new show – Late Night Lycett on Channel 4. Joe has created a queer-led talk show that’s absolutely hilarious. He’s also helping to put Birmingham on the map. I’ve
been living in London for thirteen years now but I’m still a proud Brummie, and Joe’s new show makes me very proud of my hometown. Along with the brilliant Chiyo, who hosts Man Up at The Glory which is billed as Europe’s biggest drag king competition, it just seems to go from strength to strength.

Why do you think it’s so popular and well-regarded?

I think Man Up has become so popular because there is such a thirst for drag kings. Even though drag king performers have been around for years, we haven’t had anywhere near the level of visibility as drag queens. As Man Up pushes us to the front, people are coming through in their droves to show their support and let us know we deserve as much visibility as drag queens.

When I think of you, your joie de vivre is something that always comes to mind. What’s the secret to your compelling happiness and bright nature?
Daily meditation, a healthy vegan diet, and hot yoga. Namaste.

There must be some things that irk you. What’s your biggest bugbear right now?
The current bans and protests directed towards drag story time. It’s basically steeped in homophobia and transphobia, and there are so many other important issues that people should be focusing on. Don’t hate, celebrate!

Who are three new artists that are impressing you?
Tanaka Fuego, Yshee Black, and Dairy King.

Describe a typical Don One show in just a sentence.
A typical Don One show is… funny, warm, and entertaining – just like me!

What’s the dream?
My dream is to host my own drag king show on Channel 4 (producers are you listening).

Don One co-hosts Man Up every Wednesday in May at The Glory, 281 Kingsland Road, E2 8AS. The Grand Final will take place on Thursday 25th May at Clapham Grand, 21-25 St. John’s Hill, SW11 1TT.

Grab Tickets HERE!

Jason will be back with his cabaret interview same time next month.

Give Don One a follow @don1birmingham and of course our Jason @jasonreiduk

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