Jonny Woo

On 26th July, Summer Rites hits London’s Tobacco Dock for, On The Dock, the city’s biggest LGBT Festival. All of the capital’s major gay clubs will be representin’ tings under one roof, like a giant Fags ‘R’ Us!

To celebrate, we have two interviews coming your way from two people who are icons for very different reasons. The first one is Jonny Woo talking to us about the event and his love for Miley Cyrus.

What was the first time you took to the stage in drag?
The first time I did a full look and hosted was back in 1998 at 333 and my friend Hazel created a look and christened me ‘Satanica Pandamonia’. I don’t remember it but I think it was all a bit goth. My first outing in drag in NYC was to Jackie 60 and was a fringed black flapper dress and short Liza-esque wig. Otherwise my early looks were heels and jock strap.

Which has been your favourite show to perform to date?
I loved Night Of A Thousand Jay Astons. I still loved my first show with artist Brandon Olson in New York in 2000. I am really excited about doing my TRANS(former) project, a full band covering the Lou Reeds seminal rock / poetry album.

You are credited with being one of the forerunners of the East End Alt Drag/Cabaret crowd. How have you stayed ahead of the game?
Keep the looks changing. I am currently channelling a 50 something year old woman on a night out in Romford, which I am not sure really leads the pack but won’t be copied soon by the RuPaul obsessed 20 somethings.

Is there anything you’ve been surprised that you’ve pulled off event wise?
Pulling off The Gay Bingo spectacular at The Hackney Empire was no mean feat. I had a ball and it was a test of my abilities to hold a 1300 strong crowd of screaming queens. Of course with grand back up from a shining John Sizzle and glittering Ma Butcher.


London’s drag scene is huge at the moment. What do you make of its popularity? Do you think it’s set to go back underground soon?
I intend to take it back underground. Well, I intend to make my work go back to the truly experimental performance art roots.

You’re known for bringing politics into your work. Is there a message behind Out On The Dock
Hmmm..does Miley Cyrus have a message? Maybe just to slap down homogenous mass marketed global pop.

What’s been your role in the festival? Who are you most looking forward to seeing?
I am bringing my Bangerz tour to the party with high legged swimsuit mayhem! Pop queen carnage. The line-up is a total mash up of the old big gay super brands and the new queer cool stuff. It’s brilliant. I don’t know where I am going to land up. I always loved Love Muscle myself! Oh and a bit of ‘So Macho’ from Sinitta please.

Everyone’s talking about RuPaul’s Drag Race coming over here. Who would be the ideal judging panel for you?
I’d be the head judge and John Sizzle and Ma Butcher would be my trans-henchmen of course. Guest judges as per Ru: Liza Minelli for legendary-ness, Shirley from Eastenders for take-no-shit-ness,  Cindy Crawford for my-hairs-bigger-than-yours-ness and Grace Jones for don’t-even-think-you-are-even-vaguely-fierce-ness. Boom!