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