RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of the major contributors to the immense growth and recognition of drag shows. London is one of the best homes for leading drag shows in the world from impeccable performances at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern to several competitions in Troxy.
These shows are usually for guests above 14 years of age with anyone under 16 required to sit next to an accompanying adult. One of the recent tours was the RuPaul’s Drag Race UK tour that took Season one winners of the show to various stages in the United Kingdom, including London. Such affairs are great times to meet and greet the queens for a small VIP ticket price.
Read more to get to know the best venues in London where such drag races, shows, and events are hosted. These are the places you need to visit to get to partake in the charisma, craze, uniqueness, and talent of the Queen queens living on a stage.
Best Drag Shows in London
1. The Karaoke Hole Drag Bar
- Address: 95 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB
- Website: Karaoke Hole
- Phone: 020 7254 8860
- Known for: Weekly karaoke shows with screaming, adoring fans, full of energy, and glitzy singing
Karaoke Hole is known as the cheeky little sister of the LGBTQ+ favourite, the Dalston Superstore. You can locate the venue in a basement karaoke den a few steps under Voodoo Ray’s. The finest drag stars in East London frequent that Karaoke Hole for various nights of fun, karaoke belters, and cocktail drama.
Queer cabaret and drag are the main shows apart from the karaoke performances that will mark an eclectic end to your week. Some of the shows include Queereoke with Bonk & Pasty who are said to be London’s “most bonkers alt” cabaret stars. Visit them to butcher your favourite songs all night long.
Some shows and events are free but you may be required to pay for a ticket in case of major acts and guest appearances. Keep in mind that major shows sell out quickly and you may be notified on the advertisement banner of booking policies. Do not miss out on the weekly program of variety shows and comedy.
2. Royal Vauxhall Tavern
- Address: 372 Kennington Lan, London SE 11 5HY
- Website: Royal V Tavern
- Known for: Drag competitions every Monday night
Not Another Drag Competition (NADC) is one of the main show stoppers in RVT (Royal Vauxhall Tavern). It is a weekly affair on Mondays (excluding holidays) that feature beloved judges like Rhys’ Pieces. Once you get there you will notice how enticing it is with its colourful, joyful, and vibrant atmosphere
This LGBTQ+ heaven is inside an old Victorian music hall that is reminiscent of a venue for ballet shows. In fact, the Tavern was granted Grade II listed status back in 2015 for being of crucial importance to LGBTQ+ history. The story of the venue goes back to the 1970s with impressive performances from drag queens and kings like Lily Savage.
As of today, you can visit the Royal Vauxhall to take a look at King Frankie Sinatra’s King of Clubs and the Tuesday affair of Bar Wotever. Other shows include the Lipsinkers’ every Friday of the month performance.
Anyone in the mood of getting to know drag for the first time in London should come to this venue. It is the perfect place for newbies as they get to have a true, authentic, and first-hand glance at what drag is all about.
3. Soho Theatre
- Address: 21 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 3NE, UK
- Website: Soho
- Phone: 020 7478 0100
- Known for: Cabaret and Comedy shows
Soho Theatre has withstood the test of time with almost two decades of operations and several renovations to make it more modern, and young. It has three spaces including the theatre located at the centre of the venue, a cabaret area in the basement, and a studio that is above the two. Genre-bending shows are the order of the day in any of these three spaces.
This is a cabaret show special with frequent Friday night performances from 9:30 pm. Soho theatre also does tours around the talented world to showcase London’s most vibrant producer’s work. One of the most performers and former RuPaul’s Drag Race Winner, Jinkx Monsoon is part of the tour alongside the beloved Major Scales.
Also Read: Best & Fun Things to do in Soho, London
4. Crazy Coqs, Soho
- Address: 20 Sherwood Street, London, W1F 7ED
- Website: Crazy Coqs
- Phone: 020 7734 4888
- Known for: Old school and relaxed drag atmosphere
Crazy Coqs is the place for those looking for an old-school drag experience. It is not largely populated with drag queens in tank tops or shorts. You are right at home with their bluesy jazz performances and tables with candles. It is a unique drag experience compared to rowdy and upbeat locations like the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
Get into the venue, sit back, and relax as you listen to the captivating performances from the drag stars of Crazy Coqs. In case you want, you can choose to high Crazy Coqs for a private event by mail or by calling the linked phone number above. The small and flexible stage can seat up to 40 people and up to 100 in case of standing events.
Cocktails, spirits, champagne, wine, and snacks are served before and during the shows, so you won’t have any issue quenching your thirst, as you thirst for something else too, or someone else. Shows include cabaret acts, music, theatre, comedy, literary events, and even magic shows.
One frequent show you may want to catch at Crazy Coqs is the Black Car Cabaret show called Salon Des Artistes which brings London’s top cabaret stars. Each year the act changes but features comic songs, live music, and trailblazing wit.
5. The Clapham Grand
- Address: 21-25 St, John’s Hill, London, SW11 1TT
- Website: The Grand
- Phone: 020 7223 6523
- Known for: Hosting the best American queens’ tours
The Grand is popular for its international queen acts featuring special appearances from big names like RuPaul Drag Race formers like Alaska and Jinkx Monsoon. Formerly known as the Clapham Grand Stage, the venue is not a bar but competition and performance stage for various shows and tours.
Some of the popular shows to hit the stage include the Kings of the Grand, Myra Dubois, Divina de Campo, and the Queenz! The Show with Balls!
6. Proud Cabaret
- Address: Proud Embankment, 8 Victoria Embankment, London WC2R 2AB, United Kingdom
- Website: Proud Cabaret
- Known for: Impeccable Stars shows
The Sun magazine referred to the Proud Cabaret as a “Raunchy extravaganza of burlesque and circus”. Express; “Unmissable All-Stars Show” and London Theater Review, “The Perfect Evening Out.” Whatever cabaret show you have in mind, the Proud Cabaret has your back.
These three venues of this majestic line up: one in Embankment, another in Brighton, and at Proud Cabaret City. The Brighton venue was named one of the most Instagrammable venues in the United Kingdom for its colourful array of colours. London venue at Proud Embankment is decently lit with a red carpet entrance leading up a flight of stays that take you to a surreal experience.
Cabaret All-Stars is one of the most frequent acts that takes place every Friday and Saturday led by Dolly Rocket, the Mistress of Ceremonies. There is also drag brunched on select Saturdays and Sundays where you get to chug down bottomless drinks and have a few refreshments as you lip-sync to your favourite cheeky tunes.
The Drag All Stars Dinner is one of the wittiest events at Embankment that will leave your lungs aching. Tickets start at £33 but you can get a premium ticket for more to enjoy a two-course meal, a welcoming glass of Prosecco, and standing seating.
Read More: Best Drag Brunches in London
7. Two Brewers
- Address: 114 Clapham High Street, London, SW4 7Uj
- Website: 2 Brewers
- Phone: 020 7819 9539
- Known for: Drag Race Viewing Parties, The Golden Girls shows
Two Brewers is among the most frequented LGBTQ+ venues due to its rich history that dates back more than three-four decades. It is a famous drag cabaret venue where you can go for the most thrilling cabaret extravaganzas with various options each day of the week.
Golden Girls show is a must-see for any Blanch, Rose, or Dorothy. It has a taste for everyone from the sensual ones to the hilarious ones or the cranky ones. It is a bar with lots of experience in the drag scene so you won’t feel out of place regardless of your interests.
Two Brewers is also the host of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars viewing party that happens every Friday from 8 pm. This is your chance to get to see and interact with all winners of the world-famed show. The lovely Mrs. Moore hosts Monday Night Cabaret where you can get to enter for free. Sit back and relax with a glass of wine, champagne, or your choice of Prosecco as the exciting shows take you off your seat.
8. Halfway to Heaven
- Address: 7 Duncannon Street, London, WC2N 4JF
- Website: H 2 H
- Phone: 020 7484 0736
- Known for: Witty Shows and quirky drag prizes
This venue consists of two spaces including the magical cabaret that is located downstairs and the bar that is upstairs. It has been in operation since 1991 and has become a staple London destination for LGBTQ+ societies. Apart from hosting popular shows from famous tour groups, Halfway to Heaven has the usually Monday slay event where you get to buy drinks for as low as £2.95. There is also a cabaret from 8:30 pm.
Tuesday is an All-Star Event where popular hosts like Mary Golds, Tanya Hyde, Miss Jason, Sandiza, and the Duchess grace the stage by storm. Marsha Mallow’s showcases were witty tongue every Friday from 8:30 pm on the Get Double Toasted with Marsha Mallow show.
Visit Halfway to Heaven to get to win amazing prizes from popular game nights like the Karaoke Wheel of Wonder that happens on Thursday, twice a month, from 8:30 pm. Get to see Miss Moppe and her co-host DJ Johnny Pablo to spin the wheel and see where your prize lies.
9. Admiral Duncan, Soho
- Address: 54 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UB
- Website: Admiral
- Phone: 020 7437 5300
- Known for: Hilarious and fierce drag queens
Admiral Duncan has several resident cabaret queens who light up the stage with hilarious and quite entertaining performances throughout the week. There are a few guest appearances from time to time but you can rest assured that you will be wittily skinned alive by these fierce queens.
If you do not have thick skin then it might be right for you to brace yourself for some hilarious but hurtful interactive shows. Get to enjoy every Monday Karaoke showdown hosted by Karla Bear from 7 pm. Tuneful Tuesday is the drag cabaret show taking place at the venue every Tuesday from 9 pm.
- Address: Zero Aldwych, London, WC2R 0HS, United Kingdom
- Website: Cellardoor
- Phone: 020 7240 8848
- Known for: Free weekday shows
Covenant Garden presents the CellarDoor whose interiors will probably remind you of a 1940s New York bar. The service is impeccable with performers who won’t take a minute to stop entertaining the so excited crowd. The theme of the bar is what drives its customers to return every time but the intimate affair is what keeps them glued to their seating.
Enjoy free shows from Monday to Friday but you will have to pay a small ticket fee on the weekends. Some of the weekly shows include the See You Next Tuesday show where Joe Morose, Dusty Limits, and Des O’Çonnor get to treat you to some cabaret favourites.
Monday is the day to see the most glamorous Drag Queens of London from 4 pm to 7 pm. Saturday is the Drag Bingo from 2:30 pm where you get to contend with the nightmare that is Ruby Violet and her girlfriends.
11. The Glory, Haggerston
- Address: 281 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8AS
- Website: The Glory
- Phone: 020 7684 0794
- Known for: Unique East London best drag performances, stars, and events
Last but definitely not least, we have The Glory at Haggerston in East London. It features a basement disco and performance venue for LGBTQ+-related events. It is owned by drag queens John Sizzle and Jonny Woo from Icon London.
Most nights feature the usual drag shows including the disco-heavy Friday nights that come with several drug surprises and all-night-long music from some of your favourite DJs. DJ Thursday is a free event where you can come and listen to your favourite tunes in a wide array of mixes.
Some of the regular acts you may look forward to including the Lippy Show which is hosted by Lizzy Q. Her show is currently themed Off with Their Heads where you get to see her fierce side as she performs the scary act at the basement of The Glory.
12. She Soho, Soho
- Address: 23A Old Compton St, London, W1D 5JL, United Kingdom
- Phone: 020 7473 4303
- Known for: Only women-priority drag venue in the entire London
Karaoke nights happen more than once every week at She Soho. As the name suggests, you can tell that it is a women-priority drag venue with a family-friendly and chill atmosphere. It is not a party-drag place where you can get to let it all out and have your craze.
You will love She Soho if you want a relaxed experience where you can get to meet the regular women attending the events, you can easily make close relationships with them. Drag DJs blast the place with some enticing tunes.
The stage is left to the drag trailblazers Adam All and Apple Derriere on Wednesday nights when they host amazing karaoke sessions. Get to see various drag king cabaret and burlesque events on select dates throughout the year.
Drag Show in London: FAQs
1. Why Should You Not Do a Drag Show?
Drag Shows are secular sensations that come with esteemed art forms. Live drag shows have so much power over the LGBTQ+ community and you will have to adhere to some common understandings to make sure the queen does not put you in your place.
A few things you may want to avoid during a drag show, please:
- Do not forget to tip the performers during the shows.
- Do not touch the drag queens. They spend a lot of time preparing for their art.
- Drag shows are a fun and interactive affair, make an effort to be an active audience.
- Do not forget that queer spaces are designated to be safe spaces.
- Most importantly, it is all fun and games. Do not take the action too seriously, enjoy yourself.
2. Can Anyone Go to A Drag Show?
Drag shows are welcoming to all groups despite their gender identity. The main thing to keep in mind is that the drag shows are safe spaces for queer groups and should remain that way. However, some drag show venues like She Soho have women-priority policies which mean queer women are given access to the venue before any other groups.
3. Where Can I See a Drag Show in London?
There is no shortage of drag show venues in London. If you are looking for big, international, and famous events then take a look at LGBTQ+ famed houses like the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, The Glory, Karaoke Hole, Proud Cabaret, and the Grand, and Soho Theatre.