Vault Festival – INTERVIEW – Acid Reign

This week the Vault Festival in London kicked off and runs all the way through until the 19th March 2023. Over the next month, we have interviews with acts that are performing at the event. Today we find out about the comedy cabaret drag play Acid Reign.

Acid Reign

Dates: 14th-19th March
Time: 18:45, 18:15
Venue: The Flair Ground

Hello! Tell us about Acid’s Reign? 

Acid’s Reign is a comedy cabaret drag play that makes a song and dance about the climate crisis and how climate change impacts LGBTQ+ communities. I’ve written the script, Joe Beighton of Six The Musical fame has written the music and we have an all star drag cast (soon to be announced!) led by Son Of A Tutu (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie The Movie).

How did you come up with the name of the show?

In part, the show is about a toxically shamed acerbic gay character who wants to destroy the natural world because they’ve grown up being told by society that they’re unnatural for their queer nature. So Acid seemed like the perfect name for him and Acid’s Reign an apt title for the show. I’m a sucker for a pun!

Tell us a little bit about your style of show?

Acid’s Reign is a comedy drag cabaret play about how the climate crisis impacts LGBTQ+ communities. We wanted to make a cabaret about climate change to make a song and dance about something too many people in power aren’t. Many see climate change as a drag so we wanted to satirise and challenge this by making a cheeky funny drag show about it!

What is the show about?

Tycoon Alex Acid is returning to the Haus that made them, ready to tear it down and destroy anything and anyone standing in their way, including Mother Nature herself. But Mother won’t sashay away and Acid’s siblings (Sea, Land and Air) are waiting backstage to teach them a long-overdue lesson in environmental responsibility, with the help of a little drag magic. Will Acid reign? Or will they learn to embrace all that Mother Nature has to offer?

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?

My friend Louis Emmitt-Stern has written a play called I F*cked You In My Spaceship which I can’t wait to see. And my mate Scott Le Crass is directing a play called Buff which will no doubt be fantastic.

Have you done the Vault Festival before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

I’m a Vault Festival virgin actually so I’m looking forward to seeing and making work there!

What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Vault next year?

We’re yet to stage the show so ask me that in April after the run! But right now, I’d say if you want to stage work at a festival where audiences have lots to choose from, make sure your show is as well-developed, well-advertised and individual as possible. Or don’t: what do I know?! Just make the work you’re desperate to see in the world. That’s often what I try to do.

What is the best thing about performing at the Vault Festival?

I haven’t yet! But I imagine it’ll be working with and learning from the stellar cast and crew we have on the show, seeing other people’s work and feeling part of something big fun and special.

What are your three favourite things about London?

There are so many theatres staging new writing which I love to see, queer venues where I love to socialise, drink and dance and there are loads of big and boutique art galleries: I’m obsessed with contemporary art and collect queer prints. Shout out to The Brunswick Art Gallery and Adorn The Common: both stock stunning affordable LGBTQ art. Check them out.

What favourite one-liner have you done in a show and why?

For Christmas 2021, I wrote a panto for Norwich Playhouse  and this joke for the Dame which I particularly liked: ‘I bought a Christmas Tree and the man in the shop said ‘are you going to put it up yourself?’ I said ‘no: I’m going to put it up in the hallway…’ 

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

No one’s ever asked me that before! Someone who arrives on time, doesn’t eat loudly during the show, has a laugh and a think when they’re watching, leaves a little bit changed by the work and tells all their friends and family to come and see our show!

If people want to find out more about you, where can they follow you on social media?

I’m on Twitter at jamesliammcd or you can visit my web site at 

And finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show? 

Hilarious! Timely! Drag!

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