As well as being the creative talent behind ostentatious drag punk agitator Baby Lame, Chris Weller is a senior consultant producer on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, and this month I caught up with him…
Congrats on your recent Soho Theatre run. How did you find that setting for performing as Baby Lame and are you planning to return?
Performing a solo show at Soho Theatre has been on my bucket list for many years now. I’ve watched all my faves there —Dina Martina, Christeene, David Hoyle, Lucy McCormick, Joey Arias — so in many ways it was validating. I’ve worked really hard as Baby over the years so performing at Soho Theatre was always a no-brainer to me. I just had to make other people realise that too, and I think I did. I definitely want to do more shows there.
Your personal highlight from those shows?
It sounds cheesy but this was the first time in ages that I just allowed myself to havefun. You wouldn’t believe it because of my performance persona, but I can be a real nightmare when it comes to shows because I am such a perfectionist. I’ll have notes on everything and can be really hard on myself. Fuck that! I’m trying to take myself less seriously — because no one else does!
Where haven’t you performed yet, that you’d really like to?
I REALLY want to do a Panto in a big old theatre. I don’t care what the role is but I think having Baby in a Panto would be bizarre and hilarious casting, especially if I was on the bill with some really ropey z-list celebs.
I also really want to star in a horror film, preferably as the killer, but would happily be a massacred victim too. What I’ve always loved about the character of Baby Lame, is the ingenuity.
Looking at UK drag in general, do you think it’s a good time for creativity?
There’s a lot of copy and paste drag at the moment and I think that’s definitely starting to have a knock on effect to its popularity. The great thing about nightlife, though, is stuff works in waves, so as one thing dies out, another rises. I personally think drag is always most exciting when it’s breaking rules and reacting to something.
There’s so much bullshit happening in the world at the moment, so in a really fucked up way, there is a lot of scope for creativity. There are a huge amount of exciting people on the scene at the moment doing really fresh work — Bailey J Mills and Wet Mess spring to mind immediately.
If you were not a senior consultant producer on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, would you apply to be on the show?
I’ve always said I don’t think the show would be the right fit for my drag, but as I get older I’ve started to realise saying no to stuff isn’t always the best move, so why not? I’m hugely competitive and can be petty as hell, so maybe reality TV should be my destiny.
What’s next for Baby Lame?
I’m really excited to be relaunching my variety night, Shit Show at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. I’m so sick of brunches and hun culture — this is all about dragging cabaret back into the underground and getting nasty again. My line-up is stacked with my favourites and our headliner is the world-renowned Mouse, so let’s just say there will be a splash zone.
I’m also really hyped to carry on building MIMIs — we sold out our biggest show last year at the Troxy with Peaches and have some big plans for next year. Basically, I’m not going anywhere for the foreseeable.
Baby Lame’s Shit Show is on Thursday 23rd November at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.