10 Legendary Acts Who Shaped The British Drag Scene

In honour of LGBT+ History Month, get to know some of the UK's most famous drag queens and kings.


Princess Seraphina

Princess Seraphina is considered by many to be the UK's first drag queen. Throughout the 18th century, Seraphina was a regular fixture in the gay bars of the time, called "molly houses", despite homosexuality being a criminal act in England at that time.

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Vesta Tilley

Music hall star Matilda Alice Powles (stage name Vesta Tilley) was one of the best-known male impersonators of the 20th century. Tilley's acclaimed act led her to international fame and her life story was depicted in the 1957 film After The Ball.

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Danny La Rue

Danny La Rue's career spanned more than four decades. During the height of his fame in the 1960s, La Rue opened his own venue, landed on-screen roles, performed at the Royal Variety Performance, and was awarded an OBE. In May 2009, La Rue died at the age of 81.


Maisie Trollette

At 87 years old, Trollette is one of the oldest performing UK drag acts. Her cabaret-inspired persona wowed audiences throughout the 1960s and beyond. Today, Maisie is still going strong, and she took to the stage at the most recent Brighton Pride festival.

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Lily Savage

Lily Savage first emerged on the 1980s drag circuit. Later in her career, Savage became a regular fixture on British TV. Now, the man behind the wigs (Paul O'Grady) enjoys an equal amount of success out of drag, and his Savage days appear to be mostly behind him.

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Jodie Harsh

Jodie Harsh was born on the bar tops of London's Heaven nightclub. Following a successful career in club promotion, it wasn't long before Harsh became a household name on the UK drag circuit. In 2021, the DJ and performer appeared as a guest on RuPaul's Drag Race UK.

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Le Gateau Chocolat

Le Gateau Chocolat came to life on the Brighton cabaret scene and forged a successful career spanning drag, opera, musical theatre, and beyond. Chocolat's talents are enjoyed worldwide, and tickets to his live spectaculars are known to sell like hotcakes.

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Son Of A Tutu

Since stepping onto the scene in 2011, Son Of A Tutu's thought-provoking performances (which confront racism, homophobia, and more) have won them a Drag Idol title and a BBC Stories slot. They are now set to appear in the film adaptation of Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

Stephen Allwright

Pecs Drag Kings

This female and non-binary Drag King collective first hit the stage back in 2013, and the group's critically acclaimed live performances aim to champion inclusivity and queerness with a highly entertaining exploration of sexuality, gender, politics and beyond.

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The Vivienne

The Vivienne first earned a name for herself in the clubs of Liverpool's thriving gay scene. In 2015, she was crowned the UK Ambassador of RuPaul's Drag Race and went on to win the show's first-ever UK series four years later.