If the success of 'RuPaul's Drag Race UK' proved anything, it's that the drag phenomenon has reached Great Britain, specifically London. While the British capital has long served as the country's main metropolis of tradition and culture, it's become a central LGBTQ+ hub over the years. And that includes the drag scene too! Some of the finest gay bars and nightclubs in the city offer the best drag shows in the country, many of which have featured the same exciting queens who competed in the hit reality TV competition series. Here are a few worth checking out!
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Admiral Duncan, one of the best LGBTQ+ haunts in the British capital, is in SoHo. After all, this London neighborhood is known for its liberal attitude and openness, not to mention as a creative and artistic hub too. It's only natural that the drag show here is among the best in the city. More than just lip-syncs and reveals, the drag shows here will really immerse the audience in a night of fun and comedy. Some queens will even go so far as to sit on the audience's laps, making you even more part of the show than you probably bargained for.
Another SoHo haunt that will give you a great drag show is Crazy Coqs, a musical theater on Sherwood Street. Its art deco vibe gives off the feeling of a Parisian speakeasy
or underground club, the kind where the atmosphere is so intimate, you can so easily get lost in all the fun. This should already tell you what kind of drag performance you ought to expect here. Far from the lively lip-syncs you see on 'Drag Race,' the drag queens perform all sorts of jazzy musical numbers in Crazy Coqs. And they're using their own voice most of the time too!
Can't get enough of the cabaret drag experience? Then why not check out Freedom Bar on Wardour street in London too? Their 'Kinky Kabaret Brunch' every Sunday is a must-watch, especially for the fans who love campy show tunes in an old-school cabaret setting. The entire 90-minute show is an absolute mood from start to finish, featuring amazing London drag queens, a few of which have appeared on 'Drag Race UK.' Paired with their delicious bottles of prosecco and scrumptious sliders, this is a brunch you won't soon forget. You'd argue it's better to brunch here than at a Michelin-starred restaurant in London
Why just enjoy the show when you can be part of it? Karaoke Hole is a gay bar on Kingsland High St, London where drag queens won't just give you a show, they'll literally drag you to the stage to let you put on one. Karaoke is the name of the game here—literally!—so don't expect that all you'll see here are lip-syncing crossdressers willing to bend over backward just so you could give them a tip. In this space, it's you who will have to entertain the guests. Get your vocal cords ready because the songs they'll let you sing here come from iconic divas such as Celine Dion, Whitney Huston, Mariah Carey, and the like.
Looking for another London hotspot to give you a lively drag brunch? Then look no further than Mrs. Riot on Henrietta Street! As the major LGBTQ+ haunt in Covent Garden, it's among the best drag bars in the city, especially when you're looking for a quirky and funny show to enjoy. For a whole 90 minutes, the drag queens here will liven up the party unlike any other. It's an equal mix of cool lip-syncs and hilarious comedy, enough to lock your jaw from all the gagging and the laughing. It's drag entertainment at its finest here!
Ruby Blue Bar
Located at the heart of Leicester Square, Ruby Blue Bar combines drag cabaret with slices of pizza. What more could you want? It's like an upgraded version of watching 'Drag Race' in your luxury home
, but this time, the drag excellence is live and the pizza is piping hot, fresh from the oven. Featuring amazing line-ups of four drag queens a night, with two performances each, you'll be screaming and gagging between every bite. You better hold on to your seat and slice because there'll be times when you'll be knocked out of your chair!
Trust a drag bar in the West End to give you a show that's particularly showstopping! The Folly on Gracechurch Street looks like your typical restaurant at first glance. However, come nightfall, when the sun goes down and the tinsels go up, it features one of the most drag-tastic extravaganzas in the cities. Seasoned drag queens and other cross-dressing performers give offer up one incredible performance after another, a healthy mix of lip-syncs and live music. It's campy, bright, but most of all, it's fun. You won't find a drag show like this anywhere else in the British capital!
Halfway to Heaven
Raunch, cheeky, and downright scandalous. These are the most fitting words to best describe the drag shows at Halfway to Heaven, the famous (or for some, infamous) gay bar on Duncannon Street. The drag shows here are hot and heavy, definitely far from the milder and less controversial drag you see on 'Drag Race.' In fact, you could even say that this place offers old-school drag, the kind that was more common before the hit reality TV competition series made the art of drag go mainstream. If you want some guilty pleasure, Halfway to Heaven—which is an appropriate name because this place will leave you breathless!—is where it's at!
As the drag phenomenon takes over the UK, the city of London becomes the go-to destination for the best shows out there. Out of so many incredible gay and drag bars in the British capital, here are the hotspots that will give you a fabulous show.