The Bareback Kings – INTERVIEW – Improv and Chill….

This month we are super excited to be going behind the scenes of the world of Drag Improv with two of the biggest acts on the scene – Dragprov and The Bareback Kings. Every week we are going to talk to both groups to find out just how much goes into creating a successful set of shows

march 2020

This morning, we talk to a troupe that is made up of Brent, Dirk, Gary and Seb or Francesca, Alice, Rebecca and Jules. The Bareback Kings were founded in 2017 and since then their popularity keeps on growing. They have performed in London, other parts of the UK and even New York. I haven’t yet had a chance to have a proper good catch up with the team so I was excited to be going behind the scenes. Today we take a look at warming up, relaxing and improvised songs…


What advice would you give to anyone who is interested in performing in drag?

Alice: Do it! Don’t wait for the right moment because it never comes. Watch a YouTube tutorial and get on with it!!!

 

How do you warm up before a show?

Rebecca: It varies. Sometimes not at all. When we do, it’s usually a high energy improv game such as Bad Rap and then a grounding game like 21 where we huddle in a group, look down and count to 21 by having one person randomly contribute at a time. For me, the best thing pre-show is just silly banter. When we’re all in playful moods, I know it’s gonna be a good show.

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How do you wind down after a show?

Jules: That can be tough, especially after a Barebacks show. I revel in the energy that performing has given me. Hang with friends who have come to watch, other performers, and my all-important fellow Barebacks. I try not to talk too much about the show, whether it went well or not. 15 minutes of over-analysing/congratulating is more than sufficient!

What have been some of the best suggestions that you have been given in a show and why?

Rebecca: There have been so many good ones. At the Del Close Marathon in New York we had a really fun show that resulted from the suggestion ‘starfish’. It started off with a reference to Limp Bizkit’s song Hot Dog, which somehow turned into a scene where DJs were playing Twister, and then descended into pure anarchy from there. I specifically remember riding one of the lads like a canoe while singing “row row row your boat”. It was a fun one!

 

 

It is the month of March! Spring is just around the corner, what is the way you keep a spring in your step with improv to make it fresh for you?

Alice: Great question, love to keep it fresh for the laaadies. I like to take new classes whenever I can, at the moment I’m doing Advanced Harold at the Free Association and in the future I’d love to take a drag or cabaret class, the Soho Theatre one looks ace. I think you can always learn something new from all different kinds of teachers and you never know it all! I also think that you have to keep taking risks, keep doing things that feel scary, push yourself to go to places you might not want to because when you surprise yourself, you surprise your audience too.

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What have been some of your favourite songs you have improvised in a show and why?

Francesca: There are so many that I have loved over the years, however 2 immediately spring to mind. The first was a show that I did 2 days after my Mum’s funeral in 2017. We asked for a location and they said: Mum’s kitchen, Barbershop, Funeral Home (I knew which they would pick, they can smell it on you!) and lo and behold it was: Funeral Home. I knew then that I could either hang back and get into my head or jump in both feet, so I did the latter and I think my teammates were more wary than I.

I became the funeral director and sang a song about being the keeper of the dead. The very talented Yshani said it was one of the most beautiful improv songs she had played in and although it was agony it was also a very special moment. The other was when I was playing a dreamer in the show I do with DWQ and she finally told the symbolic wolves to “f**k off”. I sang this rousing anthem and eventually had the whole audience singing along. It was brilliant!

 

If people want to find out more about your act where can they visit on social media?

Jules: We’re on Instagram and Facebook @thebarebackkings. Also give our boy @brentwouldd a follow. And please enjoy our website! barebackkings.wixsite.com

 

 

More from The Bareback Kings next week… 

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