Drag Queen Apple Derrieres and Drag King Adam All

Drag artists host Fierce Queens Masquerade Ball for LGTBQ+ month

Two drag artists are hosting the Fierce Queens Masquerade Ball at the Queen’s House in honour of LGBTQ+ History Month. 

Drag Queen Apple Derrieres and Drag King Adam All organised the queer extravaganza at the Greenwich UNESCO site for the fifth year. 

The LGBTQ+ masquerade ball is tonight from 7-11pm and will feature cabaret performances from other queer artists. 

Drag queen and actor Derrieres said: “It’s particularly important for the more vulnerable people in our community, that they can walk confidently through spaces they may not have felt confident in before

“There is also so much LGBTQIA+ history to explore that has been hidden and it’s important to share that, to show that we have always been here.” 

Also known as the ‘House of Delight,’ the Greenwich museum was built for Queen Anne of Denmark by James I in the 17th century. 

Later used by Queen Henrietta Maria, a lover of theatre and art, Derrieres noted the Queen’s House was the site of many artistic gatherings. 

While watching and participating in some immersive performances, guests can also partake in beard and mask crafting sessions. 

Performers include Demi Noire, Dita Garbo, Christian Adore and Eaton Messe, Lasana Shabazz, E.M. Parry, K.A. Harper, Eugène Delacroissant, and more. 

Adults and Communities Participation Manager Charlotte Paddock hinted at queer gatherings in the Queen’s House in the 17th century, but oftentimes those histories were hidden. 

Paddock said: “We work with queer historians, queer artists, and activists to reimagine those queer possibilities of the Queen’s House history and also make queer history today by opening it out to be a space of queer joy, queer resistance, queer liberation.”

She detailed that the Fierce Queens events started in 2018 and held online events during the COVID-19 lockdown after a push from the audience engagement team to build a program for LGBTQ+ patrons. 

By soundscaping the venue and including specially recorded LGBTQ+ history audio guides for guests, Derrieres aims to take people back in time. 

She added: “Rumour has it that Queen Charlotte will be in attendance! It’s all going to be very dramatic, we just hope a sword fight doesn’t break out! Perhaps it will…” 

Derrieres also emphasised the importance of cabaret as the driving force of entertainment and education in all of the Fierce Queens events. 

She said: “We need to celebrate and normalise queer love and lives and cabaret is a wonderful vehicle to do that. There are so many talented performers here in the UK, from different backgrounds, with different strengths and facing different challenges, all with so much to say 

“Cabaret performers are storytellers, activists, entertainers and influencers; there is always a story and a message behind each performance.” 

Paddock highlighted that the Fierce Queens Masquerade Ball is not only about celebrating queer history, but also about reclaiming historical spaces. 

She said: “It’s a history that they can own. Royal Museums Greenwich is a national collection which means it really does belong to every single person

“I hope people come to the event and feel like they are represented, they are welcomed and that it’s a venue for them to explore further in the future.”

Featured image credit: Emma Bailey

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