Me, myself and I: Charlie Rowling

Charlie aka cabaret chanteuse Miss Krystal Ball is appearing at Flirtura this Saturday and Halfway II Heaven on Monday. He has a thing for classic Doctor Who, and would love to visit the Sixties and Switzerland.

Where are you from originally?

I was born in Luton, but when I was about four we moved to the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. My parents were from South West London originally so we moved there when I was about 15.

And where do you live now?

I live in Surbiton which has a nice village feel to it. I live alone which I am happy about. My partner has his own place and I go there a lot.

What do you love about London and why?

London is vibrant, creative and diverse. So much history and things to do. I do moan about public transport, but trust me when you live out of London you sure notice how socially isolating places can be for the LGBT community.

What was the first gay venue you visited?

The Queens Arms in Hounslow. I remember physically shaking as I entered the pub. It was heaving with people. Lots of blue neon lighting, the smell of cigarettes and Joop, and Dreamer by Living Joy playing in the background.

How would you describe Miss Krystal Ball

A mix of Diana Dors, Sharon from EastEnders, Dusty Springfield and your favourite fun Auntie who worked at the local boozer.

Which songs are you looking forward to singing on Saturday at Flirtura and Halfway on Monday?

Ooh spoilers! I’m currently having a thing for Alone by Celine so probably that.

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

Not counting the wonderful Two Box Productions I have seen, then it has to be Beautiful: the Carole King musical. I have always loved Carole King, timeless songs presented in a respectful way. I also think newer audiences learnt just how big her contribution to music was. It needs part two as post Tapestry were equally interesting years.

What is your guilty pleasure and why?

Classic era Doctor Who. The production values don’t stand up now, but great engaging stories!

Biggest extravagance?

My costumes and wigs. I certainly don’t spend as much as others but it still dents a hole in the wallet.

Best gift you’ve ever received and why?

My partner Rob took me to the Doctor Who exhibition in Cardiff for my birthday.

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

Most recently getting a one woman show at Halfway to Heaven. All gigs are meaningful and I value each one, but it’s an honour to perform in a venue where you see so much talent and where you have gained friendships, developed and grown. I’ve had lovely experiences there.

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

The Sixties for sure. Great music, style and a big decade for social change.

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

My 40th. I was nervous as hell, scared people wouldn’t come. Walking out as Krystal to see a sea of lovely friends was breath-taking. Big highlight was fellow performers doing a turn, unforgettable

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

It takes sunshine and showers to make a rainbow.

Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?

Ian Mckellen… out actor and supporter of equality. 

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

Rose Garden, her Saturday updates are fab; Miss Hope Springs for the sheer glamour; Mrs Moore, her musical choices are incredible and often I know what she is going on about, loud and queerly events inspire me. Oh and current page called Rate My Plate.. I can’t stop laughing at the funny comments made about the poorly presented meals!

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

Switzerland… I want to see blue skies, mountains and wooden houses.

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

The importance of healthy eating, keeping active and looking after your emotional health. Still issues I struggle to manage.

Miss Krystal Ball is at Flirtura at The Chelsea Pensioner (Sat 23 Feb), and at Halfway II Heaven on Monday (26 Feb).


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