Mary Mac: Me, myself and I

Mary Mac is one of the most popular cabaret acts on the UK scene. Originally from Glasgow, she now commutes every week to the capital from Lanzarote and wants to get married in Vegas.

Where are you from originally?

I am originally from the Southside of Glasgow where I was one of five kids, along with Mamma Mac as head of the household, of course.

And where do you live now?

I now live in the sunshine of Lanzarote with my husband-to-be Brett and our beautiful pug chihuahua, Apple Mac. It’s always been a dream of mine to live somewhere hot so it’s wonderful to be able to do that now.

What do you miss about Scotland? 

I miss my family of course, and friends, the food and the theatre.

What do you love about London and why? 

I first visited London when I was 13 and fell in love instantly. It was busy, multi cultural and huge. There’s still tons of London I’ve never seen, I should really visit more of it when I’m here.

What was the first gay venue you visited?

It was for my 18th birthday and I was working in a production of The Wizard of Oz at The New Vic, Stoke. The cast took me to The Club and when we walked in it was like an old Western movie; everything stopped and we just stood there. I’m not sure they’d seen an 18 year old in there for a long time.

Favourite club/bar/venue in London and why?

I go to Halfway II Heaven when I want to watch other queens work, the George and Dragon for a sherry and gossip with The Duchess, the Two Brewers for a night out with friends and Heaven if I just fancy a dance, which is rare nowadays. Think that keeps everyone happy, doesn’t it?

What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?

Dick Whittington at the London Palladium and it was such a spectacle. Julian Clary had everyone in stitches and the production values on it were insane.

What is your guilty pleasure and why?

Jane McDonald. If I had to swap lives with someone it would be her, she’s super camp, has lungs of steel and is a fan of cruising. Actually it wouldn’t be that much of a life change really.

Biggest extravagance?

My panto costumes. Playing The Dame in panto means so much to me and every year I have brand new costumes made. My other half Brett designs and makes most of them and also last year I have started working with Samuel Clark Creations in Cardiff who is incredible.

Best gift you’ve ever received and why?

My first ever proper wig, a brown (I know) bob given to me by Bette Rinse. It wasn’t just a hairstyle, it felt like my first step into being a proper queen and I will always be grateful for that and everything else Bette gave me.

What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?

Writing and perfoming in my own one-woman show Glaswegian Beauty at Milton Court Theatre with a stunning 27-piece orchestra. Theatre is my real passion so to be able to transfer drag to the stage was a real thrill.

If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?

I would love to go back to the days of Regina Fong, Lily Savage, Phill Star and the many other legendary queens I hear stories of. I love our scene but would love to have had a go at sharing the stage back then as it sounds like it was a real high point for cabaret and variety in London.

What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?

The opening night party of Love Never Dies was without a doubt the campest, funniest party I’ve ever been to. It was circus themed so I ended up playing a strong man contest with Gerard Butler and competing in a limbo challenge in front of Graham Norton and Bonnie Langford. CAMP!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

If you can’t be good, be fast.

Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?

I think anyone who is brave enough to be true to themselves and not afraid to stand up for those who aren’t quite brave enough yet is a hero, whether as a homosexual or an ally. These days it is incredible to see the love and support towards the community from people from all walks of life.

Who are the most entertaining people you follow on Twitter and why? 

Kathy Burke is always a treat on Twitter, and Cher as she writes everything in capitals, except for ‘trump’ which she leaves in lowercase, which is just fabulous.

Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why? 

Las Vegas. I plan to get married there. I love that it’s a place that never stops, literally alive 24 hours a day.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

That patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait.

This weekend you can see Mary at Halfway II Heaven on Saturday and on Sunday at both the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and later at the Two Brewers.

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