Ripley is the lip-syncing political satirist who views the world through her spot on impressions of women of influence. This Friday she’s back with her new Like A Sturgeon show, subtitled, Especially for EU at The RVT, in the early slot before Beefmince. Dave Cross had a live vocal catch up with the voice behind the lip-sync.
Hey Ripley, for those who have been hiding in a cave, can you briefly describe what it is you do?
Hiya pal. I’d say that I’m just your average anti-Brexit, pro-independent Scotland drag queen with a fear of microphones. In other words, I’m a political lip-syncer!
What are the Like a Sturgeon shows?
Like A Sturgeon is a 100% mimed production combining drag, pop and political parodies. Each show is completely different and based on the latest political developments. A very clever journalist from Boyz Magazine once described it as “the funniest thing since Spitting Image”, which must mean it’s rather good.
On Friday you are back at The RVT with Especially For EU, what can we expect and how long have you been waiting to use that title?
Haha! I’ve been sitting on that one for a while. Especially For EU is a love letter to Europe set to a soundtrack of Kylie songs. It’ll combine lots of Minogue’s most iconic pop moments, but with a Brexit-y twist. Alongside appearances from Theresa May, Angela Merkel and Nicola Sturgeon, expect to see an army of Maybots, a live resurrection, a Bauhaus disco, stop motion animation and Irn Bru aplenty. I don’t want to jinx it by saying this could be the best Like A Sturgeon show yet, but I have a feeling it’s going to be epic.
Can you talk us through the guests you have and who they will be playing?
I’m very excited to have a couple of Boyz Award winners in my midst. First up there’s Tia Kofi of The Vixens, playing the Impossible Princess Meghan Markle. Poppycock, who I mentored in last year’s It’s A Knockout competition, will be playing Margaret Thatcher. And, of course, no Like A Sturgeon show will be complete without my wee Elle who will be back as SNP spitfire Mhairi Black!
Drag has a long history of political comment and satire, do you think it’s more important than ever in these ‘interesting times’?
I think it’s always important to be political, to point out the hypocrisies in the world, shake people up and stop them from becoming complacent. There’s definitely been a rise of more and more political performers on the scene in recent times who are creating really powerful and provoking work.
It does seem at the moment that you are spoilt for choice in what to cover, you’ve done Trump, Brexit and more, what’s next in your line of fire?
I’m going to wait and see what happens in the coming weeks before I commit to any ideas. But the current buzz word is independence. You’ve got Labour and Tory MPs abandoning ship to join the Independent Group. Brexit will mean ‘independence’ from the EU. This in turn will trigger a second stab at independence in Scotland. But who knows what is going to happen. For all we know Brexit will be cancelled, Trump will be impeached, Russia will lose its internet access and we’ll all be living in a post-capitalist Utopia. Doubt it though. We’ll probably all be dead by mid April!
Tickets from vauxhalltavern.com
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11
Photos by Elliot James Moody