Christmas Cabaret with Daisy and her Diamonds!

Daisy Diamond is back with another year of festive cabaret. This Sunday coming, she will be taking to the stage in Tiny with her sparkling dance troupe! Diasy and her Diamonds will be performing some of the greatest Christmas classics in aid of raising some money for Middlesbrough Community Pride.

One pound of every £2 entrance fee will be donated and there will be other activities such as a raffle and a best dressed competition.

I spoke with Daisy to get a feel for her cabaret act and to see what she has planned. She says, ‘We design our own numbers with three key factors in mind. Intricate choreography, humour and audience participation.

This isn’t the first cabaret show I’ve done. The Diamonds and I have performed our Christmas show for three years running now. I’ve been all over the place doing cabaret for four years.’


The group have been practicing their routines for three weeks now in preparation for the big night on Sunday 21st. She tells me, ‘People can always expect more than just a lip sync. A night truly filled with dancing and laughter.’

Daisy says she has a very hectic schedule at this time of year and it sometimes keeps her working right up until Christmas Day. She tells me what Christmas is like with her when she finally gets a moment to savour it.

‘Christmas in my house is always hectic! Until Christmas day comes and I finally get to relax a bit. I have a lot of bookings at this time of year so it seems that all I get to do is work and sleep. However, it is always jolly and festive!’

For you local people, catch Daisy and her Diamonds cabaret show Sunday 21st in Tiny. Guaranteed night of campy fabulous-ness!


Who’s That Queen? – Daisy Diamond

As I said in my description, I want to showcase some of the talented queens we have right here in Middlesbrough. I took myself down to the local gay bar, Tiny, and discovered Miss Daisy Diamond.

I say discovered loosely, Daisy has been in the drag line of work for a few years now and has performed at her own shows and many Gay Pride events.

Daisy was great to work with. She was very accommodating and honest in her question answering. Plus check her face. The beat is so on point. She is part of a group of drag queens who go by the name of the Satur-Gay sisters.

You will always find at least one of them in Tiny on a Saturday ready to greet the customers and DJ later on the night.

Here is a short video feature on Daisy and how she came to be the woman she is today!


Middlesbrough town hall shook by Time Warp! – News piece

The Rocky Horror Picture Show took to the stage in Middlesbrough Town Hall on Halloween night. Heels clapped from both the cast and the audience as they belted out notable songs such as ‘Sweet Transvestite‘ and ‘The Time Warp‘.

The show, titled ‘Rocky Horror Experience’, is a tribute to the midnight movie which was released in 1975. It was produced by Jon Keeling and Dan Prosser.

Other names involved were youth theatre worker, Michelle Windsor and musical director, Gladstone Wilson, who has worked on the X-Factor. The team worked long hours to ensure a polished performance for the cult following the film has.

The plot of the film seen newly engaged couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, go on a journey to find their college lecturer. Their car suffers a flat tire and then seek refuge and a telephone from a nearby castle.

They encounter transvestite Dr Frank N Furter, his servant Riff Raff and his sister Magenta along with other party goers. What ensues is pure retro, musical chaos.

The audience participation aspect of Rocky Horror is one of the main credits for its popularity. Many of the audience members where dressed up in high heels and suspenders to pay homage to the film’s costumes. Everyone was up out of their seats; dancing and singing along in time with the cast.

Sam Oxley, Trish Ryans and Emma Oxley.

Sam Oxley, Trish Ryans and Emma Oxley.

During the interval I spoke to some members of the audience. Trish Ryans, who is originally from Atlanta, claimed that this version was better than the one she had seen back in the states.

“They tried to censor the show I seen in America and make it more family friendly. Rocky Horror is not supposed to be family friendly. This version is better and much more outlandish!”

Sam Oxley said she loves Rocky Horror because “It’s fearless, limitless and extraverted! I hope the rest is as good as the first half!”

“I love the actor who is playing Frank, he’s such a diva!” she added. Fernando Mariano played the role of the self proclaimed sweet transvestite, and this isn’t the last we’ll see of him. He has just secured a role in the Opera Die Zauberflote at the Royal Opera House on the West End.

Malcolm Modele, who played the role of blonde, beefcake Rocky, was over whelmed by his first musical performance. “It was amazing! I thrive on being thrown into the deep end, and thanks to Mr Keeling I was able to do this.

I can’t thank him or the rest of the crew and cast enough for the experience. The whole time with them was epic and I wish it never had to end!”


Let’s do the Time Warp again!

I had a feeling this Halloween was going to be my best yet. The day I booked my tickets for my friend Mya and I to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show Experience I began counting down the days. I had never seen a live stage performance of RHPS so I was over the moon when I had heard one was going to be in Middlesbrough Town Hall on Halloween night.

For those of you that don’t know, Rocky Horror is a musical that was released in 1975. It was written by Richard O’Brien (Riff Raff in the film) and Jim Sharman. Upon release, it was pretty unpopular but the people began dressing like the characters when they went to see it and performing the songs and dances along with the film. It then gained popularity as a midnight movie and went on to become one of the most popular of it’s kind.

I’ve been a massive fan of the film since my teenage years and was keen to join in the audience participation that RHPS is well known for. All of those years of my friends and I doing it along with the film will finally pay off! I dressed up as Dr Frank-N-Furter’s housemaid, Magenta.

Squirrel-friends! Myself as Magenta and Mya as Wednesday Addams

Squirrel-friends! Myself as Magenta and Mya as Wednesday Addams

All of this began as a dream for two guys. Jon Keeling and Dan Prosser wanted to make a touring version of the Rocky Horror.A production team was then formed at the start of this year.

This included names such as Michelle Windsor who works in youth theatre and musical director Gladstone Wilson whose previous work includes the X Factor.

I was informed that this had been a first professional performance for some of the cast. If I hadn’t been told I would never have known! I truly felt that each cast member understood their character and knew how to portray them.

Adam Garnett and Faye Lucynda gave an amazing performance of Brad and Janet’s saucy transformation. From squeaky clean to sweet transvestites!

During Rocky's "birth" song, Sword of Damocles. From left, Rocky (Malcolm Modele), Janet (Faye Lucynda), Phantoms (Rachel Woollaston, Lucy Wood and Sarah Carter, Columbia (JoJo Edwards), Brad (Adam Garnett) and Magenta (Bryony-Rose Ward)

During Rocky’s “birth” song, Sword of Damocles.

One of the scenes I was curious about was the scene when Frank creeps into Janet’s bed first and then Brad’s. I wondered how they were going to do it on stage. It turned out to be one of the most hilarious scenes in the whole play.

The couple were behind a white screen and all the audience could see were shadows whilst they tumbled and twisted. The audience fell about laughing!

I loved the actors and thought they all did brilliantly. However, one stuck out for me. Fernando Mariano’s portrayal of Frank was totally on point. Frank is an exuberant character and I would find it difficult to play his role with a straight face. Fernando completely stayed in character the whole time even when he was not the focal point of the scene.

Dr Frank N Furter (Fernando Mariano) strutting his stuff!

Dr Frank N Furter (Fernando Mariano) strutting his stuff!

Initially I was quite nervous. Rocky Horror is something that has been dear to me for years and I was worried that the stage show wouldn’t live up to the film. Keeling and Prosser made me forget any doubt I had as soon as the first scene began. It was one of the best nights of my life and I’ll never forget it.