My Festival: Danny Beard

The drag artist on how Lily Savage, Dame Edna and Adele inspired their old-school cabaret show – and why it won’t contain any backflips, dips or drops

There are thousands of shows in Edinburgh this month. Please explain why we should come and see yours.

“Danny Beard’s show is the best thing since sliced bread. You won’t find a better performer at the Fringe this year!” That’s a quote from me ma, and she knows me best. Although she’s never been to the Edinburgh Fringe. Or seen much. So, you know, swings and roundabouts. Jokes aside, I’m here with my full five-piece band who I’ve been touring the UK with. They are honestly worth the money alone. The comedy is 90% improvised, so no two nights are the same. It’s drag cabaret for today!

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What will we learn from your show that we didn’t know before?

If you're a fan of Drag Race you might be pleasantly surprised that there’s no backflips, dips, or drops. And I can actually sing. No shade to those girls – I wouldn’t be able to get back up if I dropped to the floor.

Who or what was the biggest inspiration for your show?

It’s a Lily Savage, Dame Edna and Adele threesome. No, really! I really wanted to make an old-school drag cabaret show for today. It’s sassy, shady and I sing my titties off. But under all the insults and drama there’s lots of heart.

What’s the best review you’ve ever had, and the worst?

Danny Beard. Picture: ContributedDanny Beard. Picture: Contributed
Danny Beard. Picture: Contributed

I honestly don’t read them so I couldn’t tell you. But I did manage to grab some lovely quotes about the show from Alan Carr and Graham Norton for me poster. So that’s nice.

Who or what are you most excited about seeing this year?

Of course I’ll be front row, heckling Lawrence Chaney on more than one occasion, coz I know she’ll need bums on seats. Other than that, I’ve got Magical Bones on my wish list.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

I’m gay!

What are the best and worst things that have happened to you at a festival?

I’m lucky enough to have a fab team around me that really make my job a breeze, but once we went to London after being in Scotland the night before and I only had 30 minutes to paint a face and soundcheck. It was HELL.

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What’s the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?

Vape. I’m that level of fat I like to breathe in custard-flavoured air as much as I can.

Thanks for the interview! We’d like to buy you a drink. Where are we going and what are we drinking?

I’ll see ya in CC Blooms for a vanilla vodka Diet Coke and a few fireballs!

Danny Beard & Their Live Band, Underbelly, 9.40pm, 21-25 August