This weekend John Fell and the team at the Old Ship are launching their new Friday night cabaret with none other than Drag Idol winner and Britain’s Got Talent star Danny Beard. Dave Cross had a catch up with both Danny and John to find out more.
Hey Danny, how the hell are you?
Hello, hello. I am absolutely wonderful, thank you.
It’s been a hot summer, what’s it like wearing that little bit of make up you do in 35 degrees?
Ha! It’s deffo one of the downsides to being a full time clown, I have to say. But you know what, it’s great being able to do drag all over, so if it’s hot you just gotta deal with it.
How have the various Prides you’ve done been this year?
So lovely. Each year I expect there to be less and less but there just isn’t. Some are obviously bigger than others and some more established, but I think it’s so wonderful that I get to see and be a part of so many events; it’s truly humbling. I love doing the smaller, more family-oriented events, the ones that you can see growing in front of you.
This Friday you are back at the Old Ship in Limehouse, did you have fun the last time you were there?
Yes I am baby and yes I always have fun there. Now that could be the banana sambuca or it could be the fact the audience there just always seem up for a laugh. Deep down I know it’s both.
Why is important to you to do smaller gay venues as well as bigger ones?
It’s really important to work at venues that are LGBT owned, run and kept alive by people, not just big corporate companies. John, who lives at the Old Ship and runs everything himself, is a complete love and we have a great working relationship, and that’s really important to me.
Do you have anything special planned for Friday?
I have a special banana sambuca trick that I’m going to show everyone: basically you order me one and I make it disappear. I actually do have some new tracks that I have just completed so I will be letting them loose on the London crowd to see how well they go down.
What else do you have planned for the rest of the year?
I have a busy time ahead actually. I’m finishing my Pride season off with my last few cities including Dumfries in Scotland, Bolton and Derby. I’m also starting Kiki Queens in September, that’s my drag competition with Kiki Manchester. Then I’m filming a short film in September, which I think will be fun. Then before you know it I’m back in panto world in Sevenoaks in Kent for Christmas, and then I’m doing a UK tour in an adult panto in January.
Hi John, how has the summer been at the Old Ship?
It’s been a fantastic summer, the sun has been shining and business continues to be good. I’ve been cooling down in our air conditioning whilst sipping on a Seville orange gin and tonic. We have welcomed new customers and are extremely grateful to our regulars who continue to visit. We hope to see even more new faces with the introduction of our Friday cabaret.
We are excited that you are now having Friday cabaret at the Old Ship, what made you add this extra day?
When I took over the Old Ship, cabaret was only on a Sunday evening. I decided to introduce it on a Saturday and this has been a huge success, so Friday seemed like a natural step. The audience for Saturday and Sunday cabaret nights here are very different, so we are intrigued and excited as to what Friday will bring. Everyone is welcome and we hope this will be a huge success. I’m extremely excited.
Apart from Danny Beard this Friday, who else is coming up?
We have Charlie Hides and Mary Mac coming up soon. More acts to be announced soon. Danny Beard is a superstar and a firm favourite here, so who else to kick off the opening night. And Charlie Hides has not performed at the Old Ship for several years and we cannot wait to have him back here.
And you are still doing Saturday and Sunday cabaret as well?
Indeed. Saturday and Sunday cabaret is here to stay with a great mixture of acts coming up. Customers can keep up to date with the Old Ship app. The acts seem to love performing here and our customers can’t get enough.