The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is one of the UK’s most loved LGBT+ venues, home to a diverse range of events and performers including Duckie, Bar Wotever, Beefmince, Sunday Social, Push the Button and many more. We spoke to Chief Executive James Lindsay to find out what’s happening for the Easter week and what else is coming up.
Hi James, how are you dealing with the Coronavirus at The RVT… has it affected business?
We are following World Health Organisation and Government guidelines. So far business has not been affected. Current NHS and Public Health England advice is that individuals are at no greater risk of contracting Coronavirus at gatherings than they would be in their day-to-day life. There is a business continuity plan in place and as a company we are acting responsibly whilst continuing to support all our staff and performers etc.
Are you looking forward to Easter at The RVT?
We are indeed and what an action packed Easter line-up we have. On Wednesday we have H&M making their debut with us, that’s Meth and Herr with their Harry Potter themed night; Thursday is F.M.A.S from Ingo and their team; Friday pre club night the talented Divina De Campo from Drag Race UK in a special show then Eurofest which is always very busy. Saturday is of course Duckie until 4am, we are now in our 25th year of working with the Duckie team. Bank holiday Sunday is a big party day with Sunday Social, Queens of Cabaret – Mary Mac being supported by The Vixens then dancing until 3am with some great DJs. To bring Easter weekend to a close on Bank Holiday Monday we have the very talented Karla Bear and Poppycock.
You have quite a few new events and promoters, can you tell us about those?
Yes we do, in October last year we did not have a single confirmed booking for our weekday cabaret in the diary. With Dave Cross joining the team and bringing a refreshing approach and with a strengthened team in place: John, Dave, Jason Reid and I have put together a programme that includes new promotors such as The Cocoa Butter Club and Homos and Houmous. We are delighted to welcome Meth and Herr, Crayola, Mark Anthony and more from the best of talent from across the UK. We are super excited with our 2020 line-up. We have only five available dates left for this year, so the team have done a fantastic job placing The RVT at the forefront as a cabaret venue. The early Friday shows are becoming very popular and worthy of support with acts such as Ava Vidal, Ripley and our own superstar of stage and screen Myra DuBois.
What else are you excited about?
In partnership with our promoters and artists The RVT is an industry award winner, voted Best Cabaret Venue for the last two years. The RVT is seen as a venue of choice for many leading artists – following her sell out debut we are delighted to bring back Mutya Buena of the Sugababes on Thursday 16 April, the global pop Icon Belinda Carlisle in November and we have a charity Doctor Who event in May with stars of the classic show that has already sold out. We are proud to be the home of Bar Wotever, Kings of Clubs, Butch Please, Haus of Royalz, Solve-along Murder She Wrote, Cabaret Roulette, The Art of Drag, Pop Horror, The Quizzarding World, Recon Cabaret, Big Bingo, Bitten Peach, the much loved David Hoyle and more. Plus we are very happy to be working with both Disabled Queer and Here and Para Pride.
How are Friday nights?
Our Friday club nights are very successful and always a great start to the weekend. Beefmince is now twice a month, Push the Button on a monthly basis, Eurofest, Anthem, Frankie Goes to Vauxhall and Trashy Queen on a quarterly basis. New to the programme and twice a year in addition to their weekday performances The Cocoa Butter Club will do a super club night to showcase all their aspiring artists leading into their Friday club night.
How are Sundays doing?
Sundays have changed and we recognise that, cabaret is what people want now. We have increased from three resident performers, Mary Mac, Myra DuBois and Charlie Hides and now Sunday Social – Queens of Cabaret has 12 of the best acts in the UK to Keep Sundays Special at The RVT.
What else would you like to say?
A big thank you from the RVT team to all who support our much loved venue. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern continues to offer a diverse programme of events where we provide the best atmosphere in town at an affordable price keeping the LGBTQ community together.