This weekend is the May Day Bank Holiday and the team at the multi award-winning Halfway II Heaven have a cabaret line-up bursting with fresh acts and big laughs. Dave Cross spoke to Marc Kelly about what we can expect from Friday to Tuesday.
Hi Marc, how has 2019 been so far in the sequinned cabaret bunker we call Halfway?
We have the best team ‘at your service’ and we pride ourselves on being a safe space and the beating heart for the whole LGBTQI+ community and our allies. 2019 has been amazing so far. We’ve packed so much into the week now including our new Monday 8:30pm ‘Early Doors Cabaret’ that there’s not one night that won’t keep you entertained.
The May Day weekend starts on Friday with your screening of RuPaul’s Drag Race, how have these been going?
RuPaul’s Drag Race has universal appeal and it’s been a huge hit with the regulars. Tanya Hyde is the Oracle when it comes to all things RuPaul so she’s makes the perfect host. We were testing the water as of course the UK version hits our screens later in the year and it’s safe to say RPDR is staying on our big screen for the foreseeable future.
And this Friday, that’s followed by your Boyz Gold Award-winners The Vixens… for anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure, can you describe them?
After stepping into CK’s broken heels (Crystal’s bad back) at the weekend I would call them reliable, hard-working, and right on the money knowing what an audience wants. If you’d asked me before the weekend I would probably have said the exact opposite… I jest of course, the Vixens are actually an extension of Crystal and Kelly’s drag family.
Bonkers is the word that springs to mind for Saturdays at Halfway, what’s on for this one?
Saturdays at Halfways are always epic. There’s that mix of regulars, unsuspecting tourists and those who have come purely to let their hair down. Mrs Moore is back opening the show at 4pm and she will be no doubt be ‘Ringing Those Bells’ (them bells!), she knows what I mean. Rose Garden is celebrating eight years and one week in residence and in Rose’s words they’re all mad at Crowd Control. Tanya Hyde takes the 8pm slot, whipping up a pop and Disney Princess frenzy and then the scene’s hottest property Heart & Soul take the reins at 10pm for the ultimate soul, disco sing-a-long party in town.
What do you have planned for CK Sunday on the 5th?
It’s the busiest Bank Holiday Sunday of the year for CK. There’s always a few surprises. but I don’t like to give too much away or what is the point? But what I will tell you, and is really exciting, is that directly after CK Sunday at 8pm the legend that is Bette Rinse comes out of ‘retirement’ AGAIN. She’s as old school as you can get but guarantees the laughs and an irresistible rendition of Sweet Caroline, all together now…
What is the lovely Krystal Ball up to on Bank Holiday Monday?
Krystal Ball is the kindest most genuine queen on the scene… apart from Kelly Mild of course. She’s so popular and she has so many friends some of whom will be joining her for a Bank Holiday Monday afternoon that will be just magic. It’s called Something Groovy and features fully fledged stars of the scene and also those on the rise including Vera Yoga Vogue, Kat K Kitten and Alexis (once seen never forgotten) StClair.
And then it’s your first Drag Idol heat on the Tuesday, what’s the scoop this year?
We’ve streamlined it to just three heats this year, so our heats stay full, time-wasters beware. Myra DuBois is hosting, Tanya Hyde (2008) winner is head judge. As a venue Halfway has done pretty well over the years with Drag Idol champions Kelly Mild, Martha d’Arthur, Vileda Moppe and reigning champion Felix Le Freak all still working and showing no signs of slowing down. A special mention to Crystal D’Canter who came second in year one for Halfway’s sister pub The Leinster and has not stopped working since. The BBC are currently writing a film based on her life.