The legendary LGBTQ+ collective hit the Pleasance Theatre to haunt your Christmas.
Legendary LGBTQ+ collective, Sink The Pink, are taking over the Pleasance Theatre this festive season, with a Christmas story strictly for the grown-ups. The show will be based on Victorian melodrama and the myth of the Krampus (a horned eastern European Christmas beast with the head of a goat and long hideous claws, of course), and will follow the scandalous exploits of a part-time spirit medium/full-time con-artist; think Sweeny Todd meets the Wicker Man.
Having started out in 2008, Sink The Pink has gone from small parties at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club to being one of the biggest LGBTQ+ nights in the world, selling out venues such as the Brixton Academy, Roundhouse and Troxy along the way. With founder Glyn Fussell also behind this year’s second Mighty Hoopla festival, in which over 15,000 people descended on Brixton’s Brockwell Park, How To Catch A Krampus is the latest chapter in the collective’s unstoppable expansion, and promises to be a night to remember.
We chatted to Glyn about the show, Sink The Pink, and LGBTQ+ spaces in the UK.
Since you guys started, there has been an explosion of LGBTQ+ nights, from Buttmitzvah to VFD, seeming to cater to every small group. Does seeing all of these nights and parties make you think that your original aims are complete, or is there still more work to do?
I think there is more and more happening, not just in nightlife but culturally and creatively. I am a great believer in visibility so I LOVE it. I think there’s always more to do, but I am not consumed by that. I see myself almost as a facilitator now…if people still want it, they’ll come….and they do thankfully.
Over 10,000 people came to your festival last year. What was that like for you?
Yeah we have just shy of 18K there, it was an out-of-body experience actually. Was all so much of a blur, but a special blur!! We’re back in 2019 and I am so happy because It was a lifetime’s dream to create and deliver something like Hoopla, and we did it!
With other minority groups also starting festival (such as Paula Akpan with the Black Girl Festival), it seems like parties and club nights are evolving and moving onto a larger scale. What do you think the next step is, expanding abroad?
That is exactly it for me. We did Brixton Academy this year and I think that was as big as we should go, next step is taking the nutbaggery overseas and collecting all the international broken biscuits in the proverbial tin!!
By collaborating with the likes of Selfridges and running the aforementioned festival (as well as your parties), you really are doing so much for the visibility of queer spaces and LGBTQ+ groups. How important is this visibility do you think?
I really think it’s important to be seen; change only comes when you shine your light OUT of the underground! We are and always will be a bunch of crazy cockroaches, we are just putting on shinier lycra and entertaining the masses.
You can count Sam Smith, Jessie Ware and Mel C as friends – how important is it for celebs such as these to use their platform to support LGBTQ+ spaces?
I pay them all, they all actually hate me!!! I think using anything for the gain of a fan base is ARSE, it has to be because you are invested in that world naturally! Don’t get me wrong, people do it, and yes we will sometimes enjoy that. BUT, to make it really authentic and for people to truly buy it, it’s got to be from the heart.
Do you think enough is being done for LGBTQ+ spaces in this country?
I have been asked this a lot. London is a different beast to be honest. Queer spaces are booming, and we live a pretty lovely life as a whole. Head out regionally though, and things are shutting down. Some clubs I have long histories with are vanishing, and that is gutting. They make up the blueprint of LGBTQ culture and we have to fight to keep them thriving…..get off Grindr and go out I say!
Tell us a bit about your upcoming Christmas show?
Well we have done two years of Christmas shows at Selfridges and they’ve sold out, so we wanted to move to a proper grown up theatre. The show is written and Directed by the GENIUS Ginger Johnson, She’s the Derren Brown of Drag and can do magic and everything. She’s also a twisted bitch, so it’s a creepy tale of Seasonal doom with pop songs and a motley crew of STPs finest queens……It’s unmissable.
Why did you choose to base the night on the myth of Krampus?
I actually knew nothing of this Krampus malarkey, Ginger always delivers some wonderfully abstract ideas from the bonkers vault….I always just say YES because I have complete trust in him and the cast! Krampus is basically the opposite of Father Christmas in folklore though….he attacks the sinners and we are ALL sinners right! Come get attacked babe.
What are you expecting from the night?
Magic, Reworkings of pop songs like NO OTHER, a Victorian OAP Domantrix, puppets, DRAG, epic set and MORE Drag!
What do you think it’ll be like, bringing the night to a theatre?
Well, the place is special and I think it’s always about giving our audience something new and unexpected. People will love it.
What’s next for you guys?
Oh 2019 is going to be HUGE, we are off out of London!!! And there’s a lot of exciting stuff coming up too…Sorry that was very cryptic, hahahaha.
How To Catch A Krampus is written and directed by Ginger Johnson, and will be showing at the Pleasance Theatre, 13 November to 23 December. Buy your tickets here.