Son of a Tutu

Interview: Son of a Tutu ahead of Drag Climate Change Spectacular Acid’s Reign

Award-winning drag queen, actor and activist, Son of a Tutu (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Permissible Beauty, BBC Stories) will be playing the all-mighty Mother Nature in Acid’s Reign, the sensational climate cabaret.

We caught up with Son of a Tutu to talk about the show, her inspirations and London haunts.

Acid’s Reign | 14-19 March | Vault Festival | From £13

The Cast of Acid's Reign in Rehearsals (c) Cam Harle
The Cast of Acid’s Reign in Rehearsals (c) Cam Harle

Tell us about the show Acid’s Reign. What should we expect? 

Acid’s Reign is an hour in the life of Mother Nature’s, a traditional drag pub and in that hour you’ll find love, war, drag kings and queens, lip-sync, live singing, dance, life, tsunamis, landslides, family feuds, cabaret, re-imagined gay anthems, illusion, smoke and mirrors, Greta Thunberg and more. It’s a celebration of queerness and, an exploration of its Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and threats as posed by the climate crisis both from within and without. 

It’s just like any other queer experience and space in the world right now and for the foreseeable future.

What’s the message about climate change you’d like people to take away?

That instead of scapegoating the LGBTQ+ or other minoritised communities for the manifestations of the climate crisis (no, gay marriage does not cause hurricanes!), we should be holding responsible greedy, villainous, fossil fuel burning corporate behemoths and their cofuel-burnings in government. We have the power as individuals to demand top-down, bottom-up and, side-to-side change, in addition to making discrete changes in our own living practices, to arrest the progress of planetary destruction. We have left it late but, there is still time.

Who or what inspires you to express yourself via the art of Drag?

Drag is the preeminent form of entertainment and culture from within the queer community through which we express our hopes, dreams, desires, fears, strengths, weaknesses, aspirations, threats and more. The ability to put a smile on someone’s face and a warm feeling in their heart whilst provoking thought, all through the medium of drag, is what gets me out of bed in the evening. 

What advice would you give to people who are thinking of exploring drag? 

Be clear in the expression of your artistic intentions and be fearless. Trust your instincts as they are the building blocks of your own uniqueness (uniqueness = Gold) and make them come to life. Develop your craft and do not be scared of setbacks as they are most often opportunities for growth. Practice, Practice and SLAY!

What are your favourite London haunts?

As a queen who works in a lot of London venues, to name favourites would be doing a disservice to other greatly cherished spaces. I do not measure affection for venues in bricks and mortar or brand names but by the strength of the connection we establish, artists and audience, within a certain space and timeframe.

This varies widely from place to place and even time of day within the same space – an 8pm audience reacts totally different from a midnight one within the same venue- and so after a while you learn to tailor your show to all the factors at play at any given time.

Interview: Son of a Tutu ahead of Drag Climate Change Spectacular Acid's Reign 1

I tend to hangout in whichever venue I am working when I finish working and on days when I am not working, I do not go near a pub, bar or club etc unless I have an event to go to or friends to meet. 

I’m a huge foodie and love cuisine from all corners of the earth but the places I frequent time and time again out of love and familiarity include Balans on Old Compton Street, Goodmans on Maddox Street and Chuku’s (Nigerian Tapas) in Tottenham. Much Tutu Love xxx