VICKY VOX.

Stand back, boys. The US drag sen­sa­tion is mak­ing a bee­line for Lon­don...

Gay Times Magazine - - VICKY VOX. - Image Jo­han Pers­son Words Wil­liam J Con­nolly

Di­rect from the fierce drag scene of the USA, Vicky Vox isn’t a stranger to serv­ing it up and hav­ing an au­di­ence eat­ing out of her hand. But what hap­pens when she switches her beloved and fierce drag per­sona for an evil, twisted and singing plant that loves to suck the blood from to others in or­der to sur­vive?

Ahead of her ap­pear­ance in the Re­gent’s Park Open Air pro­duc­tion of beloved mu­sic Lit­tle Shop of Hor­rors, we took a trip down to Skid Row to get well ac­quainted with Audrey 2.

In the weird­est sen­tence and ques­tion ever... are you ex­cited about play­ing a hu­man-eat­ing, singing, evil plant live in Lon­don?

You know what? I am, le­git. The child in me is so ex­cited. Lit­tle Shop of Hor­rors is one of those things I saw as a child and I told my­self that this is what I wanted to do, that this is me. This is magic, and it’s kind of amaz­ing that it’s even hap­pened in my life.

Would you have cho­sen to play Audrey 2?

No! I wanted to be one of the pop girls. As I’ve grown up, I’ve re­alised that I am the plant and I am Audrey 2. It kind of makes sense, so I’m not mad at it.

Did it take much per­suad­ing to get you on­board? This time last year, I made a prom­ise to my­self and God that I was will­ing to do the work – what­ever it took. Along things came, and it’s try­ing my ass be­cause I’m a pro­fes­sional cross­dresser, and the peo­ple in this cast here are so tal­ented that, ah shit, I have to step up my game. I’ve got to ac­tu­ally work here.

And this male-dom­i­nat­ing story of abuse, par­tic­u­larly in the era of the #TimesUp move­ment, feels poignant...

It’s crazy how a story that’s writ­ten a cou­ple of decades ago is still so rel­e­vant. It’s time to deal with it, and we are deal­ing with it now. It’s time for this show to come back, it re­ally is. It’s time for peo­ple to be heard, and the way they have the show go­ing, we’re go­ing to be heard.

From your ex­pe­ri­ence here and in the USA, are we see­ing great rep­re­sen­ta­tion for queer roles within the main­stream?

Are we do­ing enough? That is al­ways no. We could al­ways do more, but we also need to be kinder to our­selves and re­alise that we are where we are at any given mo­ment – and we can’t change that. We can only change go­ing for­ward. It doesn’t do us any good to sit here and say that it’s shit. If we look around there’s some pretty good roles go­ing to some pretty amaz­ing peo­ple – in the­atre, tele­vi­sion – and amaz­ing trail­blaz­ers pound­ing down the doors for the gen­er­a­tions to come. There’s work be­ing done, but we could al­ways do more.

Why is the­atre still fail­ing the trans com­mu­nity?

There’s ab­so­lutely not enough be­ing done to present the trans com­mu­nity at all. We’re just not do­ing enough. Trans sto­ries are hu­man sto­ries and I firmly be­lieve that if some­body is a hu­man, it’s of any one of us. We need to see these, and we need to have more com­pas­sion. The­atre – for ac­tors and per­form­ers – we get to see and ex­pe­ri­ence and put our­selves lit­er­ally into other peo­ple’s shoes, trans­port­ing the au­di­ence on that jour­ney. Of­ten, the trans com­mu­nity is left out of that and it’s not okay.

What’s stop­ping this from hap­pen­ing?

We have to get them in the room. When there’s cre­ative meet­ings, put some­one from that com­mu­nity in the room. It’s not for a lack of skill or tal­ent as it’s out there, I just don’t think any­body’s look­ing.

Quick-fire ques­tions... favourite mo­ment from the show?

OH MY GOD. I’m watch­ing re­hearsals and my jaw is lit­er­ally on the floor the whole time. I can’t pick one as all their tal­ent is out of this world, and it’s a whole new world that I’m in. What I will say... there’s a lot of sur­prises that peo­ple won’t be ready for!

Cryptic an­swer. So at least we’ll be sur­prised... I can’t even tell you that, girl.

The naugh­ti­est cast mem­ber?

Ohhh that’s me, and I’m also the bi¦est pain the ass. The bi¦est fuck up! There’s times when Marc An­tolin is so se­ri­ous and so into char­ac­ter, and when I turn and catch his eye, he can’t keep it to­gether. I can’t do it!

Do we get to see you on stage, or are you the voice of the plant only?

I can’t... I FEEL LIKE I GAVE YOU MY AN­SWER, GURL.

And fi­nally, if any­body is think­ing of buy­ing... why Lit­tle Shop?

The over­arch of the show is ‘don’t feed the plant’. It’s don’t go af­ter fame and love and all of this with money, be­cause it’s go­ing to get you. But ac­tu­ally, go­ing af­ter your ba­sic needs is the only way the plant sur­vives. I look at it from the other side: fuck all y’all, be­cause we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. You’ve been telling us what not to do for so long, we’re go­ing to take over.

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