Holly Dunn Something is the deadpan new drag stand up who is one of the organisers of Haus of Royalz – It’s My Party cabaret showcase at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on Wednesday (4 Apr). She loves Geri Halliwell and had a He-Man and She-Ra cake at her 30th birthday party.
Where are you from originally?
West London, born and raised.
And where do you live now?
Still in West London, Notting Hill, with Mr Dunn, my husband of 14 years. No children, but a plethora of nieces and nephews that are the light of my life.
What do you love about London?
The fact that it’s home and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. It’s such a diverse city and there is always something going on.
What was the first gay venue you visited?
It was Heaven nightclub, not long after I’d turned 18. I remember being both absolutely petrified but also feeling completely liberated. There were people dancing and kissing others of the same gender, something I’d only ever seen on TV. I’ve always loved music and I love to dance so getting to do that with my partner without fear was wonderful.
Favourite club/bar/venue in London and why?
The RVT, obviously! Not only because they offered the Haus of Royalz a quarterly residency there, but all my best performances have been there. It’s also somewhere that offers such a variety of events (Bar Wotever is a particular highlight). I also love Halfway II Heaven on a Saturday night when my friends The Vixens are on.
What can we expect at the Haus of Royalz event next week at the RVT?
We are celebrating our 1st birthday, so expect one hell of a party. We graduated from Michael Twaits’ ‘The Art of Drag’ course almost exactly one year ago to the day and we think that deserves a celebration. We provide a sensory feast of drag diversity and our shows include comedy, lip sync, singing, dancing, burlesque, spoken word, political commentary and far too many Spice Girls references.
What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?
Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre; it was so good that I want to see it again. I really want to see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – it looks fab!
What is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t believe in guilty pleasures now I’m in my 30s. I spent so long being ashamed of the things I liked, I don’t have time for that anymore.
Wigs. There is nothing like the feel of a brand new wig. It has to be red, though…
Best gift you’ve ever received and why?
The best I was ever given was the gift of life 32 years ago by Mummy Something, who inspires me to live it the best way I can every day.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
At the first Haus of Royalz show last year I did an onstage reveal of a Union Jack dress. Getting to ‘sing’ a Geri Halliwell song in a Union Jack dress was a childhood dream of mine 21 years in the making and I am so grateful it happened. It was the best moment of my life (don’t tell Mr Dunn I said that). Special shout out to my darling friend Frankly Desire who made the dress with me.
If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?
1997 – the height of Spicemania – what a time to be alive! My idol Geri Halliwell was everything to me.
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?
My 30th birthday party. My friend who I’ve known my whole life (we were born two weeks apart and have been friends ever since) and I talked about having a joint party for years and we finally did it. All my family were there and we had a He-Man and She-Ra cake. And lots of vodka.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Jinkx Monsoon once told me “Find your schtick and schtick to it” and then she proceeded to give me a shot of vodka mouth to mouth. Yes that happened.
Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?
Miss Coco Peru. She’s a drag comedian who doesn’t rely on shade, crude humour or parody songs and is probably the funniest comedian I know, and certainly my favourite. Plus she’s a redhead.
Who are the most entertaining people you follow on Twitter?
Trixie Mattel because she likes to poke fun at herself. I’m a fan of self-deprecation so I appreciate it in others. Because if you can’t take the piss out of yourself, how in the hell are you going to take the piss out of someone else?
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
Singapore, without a doubt. It’s where my mum’s family are from so I really want to go one day.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
Why Geri really left the Spice Girls! Seriously though, I wish I knew that people aren’t always around as long as you want them to be, so you should tell them how you feel about them when you can.