ABOUT US AND THE PROJECT
King Doc UK is a cultural collective that is behind the ‘Drag Kings’ film. To raise awareness of the UK’s drag kings, we have hosted an event in the northern city of York, and were the first to introduce amazing masculine acts to the city. In addition, we have travelled across the country to attend drag events and were invited to take part in judging the annual ‘King of The Fringe’ contest in Brighton.
King Doc UK’s ‘Drag Kings’ is a short documentary exploring the staunch, resilient spirit of people who perform masculinity on stage. The film follows three drag kings (Sammy Silver, Wolfy and Benjamin Butch) from across the UK struggling with the inequality that they face within the drag community. In the shadow of drag queens, the kings are creating art that holds a mirror up to what it means to be human, rather than simply being defined by their assigned gender. ‘Drag Kings’ scrutinises the archaic notion of the gender binary.
Director’s Statement: ‘When people think of drag, usually they will think of drag queens. However, Drag Kings have been around since the 19th century and still haven’t received the same attention or praise as their drag queen counterparts. With this project, I hope to bring the work that the drag kings do into public awareness and to give people the confidence to explore their identities in whichever way they see fit.’
Producer’s Statement: ‘We originally started the project about a year ago by reaching out to kings around the country and abroad. We were stunned by the great response we received from supporters reaching out to us from across the globe. The film was entirely self/crowdfunded and our sole objective is to shed a light on the important works of the kings and to celebrate gender in all its forms.’
Meet the Kings:
Sammy Silver is an international drag performer who has performed at Austin Drag Festival 2016, ‘Boi Box’ and ‘Bar Wotever’. Originating from the seaside town of Bournemouth, they have recently moved to London. In their own words, Sammy’s performances are ‘sassy, sexy and surreal’. They perform original songs, rooted in their personal experience of navigating the world and the dating scene as a nonbinary bisexual. Sammy was a ‘Man Up’ finalist, winner of 2015 Drag Idol the 2015 Brighton ‘King of the Fringe’ and was the host of this year’s competition. Sammy is now delving into the world of burlesque and has recently performed at the 2016 Bristol Burlesque Festival.
Although Benjamin Butch has not been doing drag for long, they have already taken the UK scene by storm. Whilst studying for their degree in urban dance, Benji has performed all over the UK at venues such as ‘Boi Box’, Thomas’ of York and Kings Bar in Blackpool. They were crowned as the winner of the 2016 ‘King of The Fringe’, have made it to the final of ‘Man Up’ two years in a row and they have recently secured a residency at ‘Bar Wotever’. Benjamin is also the founder of drag king collective ‘Butch Boiz’, of which Sammy Silver is also a member.
As Manchester’s ‘friendly neighbourhood drag king’, Big Brother contestant Wolfy is a familiar face on the Canal Street drag scene. Wolfy is an international drag artist and DJ, having performed at Austin Drag Festival 2016, ‘King of The Fringe’, Sparkle and Manchester Pride. Wolfy also has their own residency at Churchill’s on Canal Street.
Social media links to the project: