Drag culture is bigger and more popular than it’s ever been but it hasn’t always been received this way. In fact, this sort of public awe — sometimes, it borders on worship — of drag queens has really only cropped up in the past decade or two. Before that, drag was submerged deep in underground clubs and back-alley bars. And before that, it was an exaggerated and integral part of the theatre culture. The fact is, drag has been a part of our culture for centuries. And every era and every new iteration of the art form has been crucial to the shape and success of drag today.
In the 21st century, a drag queen is not just a man who wears women’s clothes; a drag queen is an entirely separate entity. When so impeccably dressed and flawlessly painted, the person underneath the queen disappears almost completely. Oftentimes, drag performers describe their personas as though they were another person. They’ve plunged their hands deep down into their own psyches and pulled out the weirdest, fiercest, and most theatrical parts of themselves, then mashed them together to form something new. A character. An alter ego. A super-“she”-ro, if you will. – popsugar.com
In Hisarönü, we have our own trio of “she”-ros, the Glamour Girls, Clark W Burton (Miss Beehave), Jay Myers (Joanna Play) and Darren James (Miss Noxi).
Glamour, the hottest cabaret show in town, has now just finished it’s second season and has established itself with holidaymakers and residents as a hugely popular night out.
If you haven’t seen the show and want to know more, have a read of our article:
It’s more than just a night out though. In September, Glamour held a fundraising evening for Yaşam İçin Yarış (Race For Life Turkey) and raised 14.200TL.
We’ve established that the show is a huge success, but what about Clark, Jay and Darren? We decided it was time we found out a little more about our talented, big-hearted trio.
The guys behind the girls
Last Sunday we met over breakfast at the Yakamoz Hotel in Ovacık to learn more about the guys behind the girls and what a hilarious couple of hours. I can honestly say the guys are just as funny off-stage as they are on-stage.
Clark W Burton (Miss BeeHave)
Clark was born in December, 1987 in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. He fell in love with performing when he was five years old after taking part in Jack and the Beanstalk. As a result, he went on to study performing arts, tap dance and ballet.
Clark’s career in Turkey started in 2008 as a boy dancer at the original Talk of the Town in Hisarönü. His drag career really took off when he entered and won Drag Idol, a talent show that raises money for HIV.
From there he went on to work in venues in both Turkey and the UK, including Talk of the Town (Marmaris), Copacabana (Hisarönü) and Talk of the Town (Zombie Bar).
It was in Turkey that he met Jamie Morris, aka Bonnie La Blue, who was to become his mentor and friend. Jamie, along with Bobby Kent, started Talk of the Town in Marmaris and took Clark under his wing (or feather boa) and helped him transition from a shy boy to the confident performer you see today.
Darren James (Miss Noxi)
Darren has been a drag performer for 22 years. The oldest of the trio, he is mercilessly ribbed by the other two. When asked his age, he describes himself as “somewhere between 40 and death”.
Born in Liverpool, Darren started his career in local pubs and clubs in Manchester. He then joined Funny Girls in Blackpool, where he stayed for 16 years before moving to the Birdcage in Leeds.
Jay Myers (Joanna Play)
Jay, 26 (or 6 and-a-half as he describes himself being a Leap Year baby) was born in Manchester where he worked for Sainsbury’s before moving to Blackpool and taking a job as a waiter at Funny Girls.
His drag career started when his boss called him over one evening and said “go upstairs and put on a face and a dress as we’re short staffed on the bar”. After that he was one of the regular bar staff in drag.
A new project…
In 2015, Clark (who was now working in Hull) was contacted by Lisa Köse to see if he would be interested in being involved in a new project. Clark flew over, a location was found, and a name for the show agreed.
Clark is the brains behind the Glamour concept. He always knew what his own show would be called. He told us “I had it in my head for years that if I opened my own show I would call it Glamour and we would be the Glamour Girls”
Next, was finding the other two Glamour Girls. Jamie had always taught Clark that drag queens needed to be very different personalities for it to work.
Clark, Darren and Jay had crossed paths or worked together over the years and their styles were perfectly suited to each other.
The Glamour Girls
Miss Beehave – the funny leading lady
Joanna Play – the cheeky, pretty diva
Miss Noxi – the fat one!
(Their description, not mine)
We can’t move on without introducing you to Lisa.
Lisa is originally from Luton but has lived in Turkey for 26 years. She came on holiday, met her husband Mehmet and never looked back.
As well as owning the Hotel Köseoğlu in Ovacık with her husband and managing Olive Grove Village, Lisa is the manager of Glamour.
Lisa and Clark have been friends since working together at Zombie Bar. Lisa now does an excellent job managing the Glamour venue and making sure the guests get an evening that is fantastic in every way.
Each of the Glamour Girls brings their own acts to the show. Jay and Darren set their own numbers and Clark choreographs, produces and directs the rest of the show.
Jay, who was used to being a DJ in drag, found putting his act together and dancing in drag quite difficult at first but as Lisa pointed out ” he pulls it out of the bag every time”
The show is family oriented with no vulgarity or swearing, just a little borderline cheek and innuendo.
Jamie always told Clark “You have to look after the kids of today as they are the audiences of tomorrow”
The amazing costumes are all made in the UK, the majority by Peter Hewitt (aka Ellie Peters).
Feathers are provided by Maxine’s Feathers.
Wigs are styled and set by Tarot Joseph and maintained and titivated by Jay.
There are two finales to the show, one of which is an adaptation of “I Am What I Am”. This season there was a new finale to the show, a song from The Greatest Showman, “This Is Me”.
You really do need to see it for yourself
The guys flew back to the UK on Monday after a great season. Thats’s not the end of it though.
They have a winter schedule so you can enjoy the show in the UK too.
Clark, Jay and Darren, we’ll see you next season…