This Monday (3 Apr) the team from Cancer is a Drag is holding a fundraiser in a new venue – for them, and most of us – at the Slug and Lettuce on Leicester Square. The night will be hosted by Rose Garden. Dave Cross sat down for a cup of tea with the belle of Belfast herself to find out more.
Hi Rose, we know you have been involved with Cancer is a Drag for a while – explain what the charity does.
Cancer is a Drag is a registered charity founded by Alan Bugg during his own four-year battle with stage four lymphoma. It provides much needed financial support and well being to people living with cancer. Due to lengthy treatments that mean long phases off work, most people diagnosed with cancer find themselves struggling to keep up with the bills and everyday living expenses, which is an added burden to fighting the disease. We aim to stop cancer being such ‘a drag’ by alleviating these and allowing the sufferer to get on with the fight. Cancer is a Drag will pay for household bills, taxi fares, medicines, treatment, clothing, home help, childcare, a short break away and much more. We also look after our beneficiaries by staying in contact and giving further grants and/or support when needed if we can through the length of treatment and aftercare. Check out the website cancerisadrag.org for more details.
Why did you decide to get involved?
I got involved after meeting Alan at a fundraiser at Halfway II Heaven. I’ve seen firsthand the help and support they give, so I’ll do as much as I can to help.
On Monday you are hosting the fundraiser at the Slug and Lettuce in Leicester Square, which is not known as a venue on our gay scene – how did this come about?
We were looking to broaden our fundraising activities and after a chat with Heather from Halfway, she put us in contact with Stuart from the Slug and Lettuce, who offered his venue. It’s a new one for me as well!
What can we expect on the night?
We’ve got Charlie Rowling, aka Krystal Ball, on board and he has organised a great line up of old and new acts, including Marsha Mallow, Chamonix Aspen, Miss Terry Tour and more. I think it’s going to be an exciting, fun night full of songs, laughter and a bit of naughty banter.
How can people donate or help?
Come down on the night and give what you can to our bucket shakers whilst having fun, or visit the website.
And how are Saturdays at Halfway going?
Saturdays at Halfway II Heaven are epic. SwapShop celebrates five years in April – it was only supposed to run for six weeks at the start. Now it’s a full-on day of cabaret because I’m joined by Mrs Moore or Mary Mac in the matinée slot and The Vixens later in the evening, making me the tasty filling in the cabaret sandwich.
I loved your show The Belle of Belfast that you did at the RVT and the Two Brewers last year – will you be doing that again?
Thank you. I love doing The Belle of Belfast, as it’s very personal. A huge thank you to everyone who came to see it and the venues for their support. And big love to Tanya Hyde and Phil Lawrence who are a big part of the show. I’d love to do it again, so watch this space.
What else have you got coming up in 2017?
Oh I have a lot of things in the pipeline. I did Rocky Horror and the Boyz Award-winning Harry Poppers panto with 2Box Productions last year, and I’m looking forward to working with them again. I have Pride celebrations, SwapShop’s 5th anniversary, I’m organising a proper tea dance – waltzing, tangos, line-dancing and more – hopefully in July. I’m teaming up with Ripley to put on a new show on 24 August at the Brewers, which will be a combination of live, mime and visuals – it’s going to be twisted! And there’s also something in September that hasn’t been announced yet but I’m honoured and wetting myself over!