Much like the LGBTQ+ scene, the drag scene here in Manchester is absolutely buzzing and is known all over the world. It has a very specific style which is quite dark, gothic and surreal which makes it incredibly unique- Manchester Queens are great examples of why drag is considered to be an art form.
I would go right out and say that Cheddar Gorgeous is the most famous drag queen here in Manchester and if you are a frequenter to the party scene, I bet you will recognise her. Cheddar teeters in that androgynous zone of drag and she does a great Bowie naturally. She is also rather alien-esque with a repertoire of out-of-this-world outfits that look like they are straight off the mothership. Cheddar’s performance art can often be found at Manchester Art Gallery too which is like nothing you have ever seen before. Ever.
As the drag daughter of Cheddar Gorgeous, Donna Trump had some pretty big shoes to fill…like, literally. In the last year or so Donna has taken her surreal but politically minded drag and shown it to the rest of the world. She has been on tour with last year’s reigning Queen Sasha Velour recently on her Nightgowns show with is a testament to her talent. Her animal faces are fucking terrifying though…
This Queen has one of the most unique looks out there as she is always in black and white. She is inspired by old Hollywood movies and so has some serious vintage vibes which the whole of the Manchester drag scene is absolutely living for. She has that slightly gothic and very avant-garde approach to drag which is so signature to Manchester whilst managing to be like no one else. Check out her Marlene Dietrich at Schloss- it’s fabulous.
Grace Oni Smith is a stunning Tran’s drag performer who travels between Manchester, London and Berlin. Grace’s drag gives serious 80’s glam-rock realness which is hypersexualised and very fetish driven. She is an artist in the true sense of the word who challenges Tran’s politics and breaks some serious boundaries. You can tell she has a bit of Berlin in her too which if you have seen her before, you will know exactly what I mean.
This Queen who is best known for her fabulous makeup looks is known all over the world. Expect colour, creativity and sometimes obscure but perfectly executed references in her looks. Sometimes historical, sometimes fantastical, Lill will always keep you on your toes and give you something you do not expect from Elizabeth I to Divine to Anna Nicole Smith. Lill is larger than life, but still just a more confident extension of the man-beneath-the makeup.
I absolutely adore Yassica Skreams’ aesthetic. Dirty, rough and grungy whilst also managing to be perfectly polished, Yassica is a bit of an underdog, but certainly one of the best. I have no doubt that in a couple of years she will be more popular than sliced bread and I can’t wait to watch her grow. Her Cher impersonation is amazing, second only to Chad Michaels who only has the upper hand because he actually fucking looks like Cher. She’s awesome though – check her out.
Tall. This Queen is so. Fucking. Tall. Six foot six (without heels on) to be perfectly accurate and with a lean body to match. Banksie is known for her very classic and very sexy approach to drag, so do not be surprised if you find her rocking some rather racy lingerie when she performs. She is known for her lip-syncing to classics like Madona. And you can find her at Schloss, Jimmy’s and throwing some shapes at La Discotheque.
This has to be one of my favourite drag names ever – second only to Penny Tration and Olive de Nightlife. Anna likes to call herself ‘shock in a frock’ which is an incredibly apt description if you ask me. She is one of the top dogs in the Manchester scene who can be found frequenting the Kunst Kaberet at Albert Schloss alongside Liquorish Black, Banksie and Cheddar. Her drag is dark, twisted and gothic and her outfits will certainly leave you gagging.