Interviews

Me, myself and I: Above The Stag director Andrew Beckett

The Above the Stag Theatre’s associate director and production manager loves Paul O’Grady and would like to be reunited with his signed Gordon the Gopher photo.

Where are you from originally?

I’ve lived around the world, born in Germany, the son a soldier, but I’ll always think of Bath as home.

And where do you live now?

Now I live in Clapham South with my partner, John.

What was the first gay venue you visited?

The first gay bar I ever visited was Ku Bar, in the days when it used to be on Charing Cross Road. I remember a semi-naked guy serving shots, receiving a neck massage from a gorgeous girl called Angel and drinking myself sober. I thought it was awesome.

Favourite club/bar/venue in London and why?

It would be a crime not to say Above the Stag Theatre. It is definitely the most welcoming venue in London. However, I have always loved Eagle London. Horse Meat Disco is one of my favourite nights out.

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

I managed to get to the press night of An American In Paris at the Dominion and it was one of the best things I have seen at the theatre in recent years. I urge everyone to see it.

What is your guilty pleasure and why?

Domino’s Pizza knows me by name…

Biggest extravagance?

I’m not really an extravagant person, until I hit the kebab shop, then I’ll have a bit of everything.

Best gift you’ve ever received and why?

When I was six years old, I received a signed picture of Gordon the Gopher. It was in a frame until I was 28, then someone stole it from a house party.

Who is your LGBT hero and why?

My LGBT hero is, without doubt, Paul O’Grady. As himself and as Lily Savage. Not only was Lily Savage one of my first experiences of the gay world, and an amazing insight into gay life, but Paul O’Grady has really paved the way for gay people in the popular media.

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

The highlight of my career to this day is still my first job, a TV show called Teachers on Channel 4. I was a rushes runner and I thought the world of TV was amazing and everyone was so nice to me.

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

2002 was a pretty amazing time. I took a gap year and coached volleyball in a five-star hotel in Crete for six months. It was the most carefree time of my life.

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

My friends Iain and Andrew have always held the most amazing parties at their home in Balham. Infamous some might say… So when they were married, the party that followed ended with me losing three days of my life, so I assume it was the best party ever.

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

Don’t use the urinals at the old Stag pub in Victoria.

Who are the most entertaining people you follow on Twitter?

I’m a big fan parody accounts. Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) is how I like to think the queen really is. And Winter Strallen is priceless for anyone in the biz.

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

The Boyz office because I hear it’s a riot. Or Sydney. I’ve never been and it looks incredible.

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

When I was younger – being around a military environment – I wish I had known that being gay was not only going to be OK, but also that I was going to be part of an incredible community that is welcoming, accepting and most importantly fabulously glitter.

Southern Baptist Sissies runs until 22 April at Above the Stag Theatre, 17 Miles Street, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1RZ.
Book tickets via abovethestag.com.

 

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