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IT’S not hard to find a good show in Cardiff, but what about one where its
performers defy gender? Enter the Lady Boys of Bangkok; 16 of the world’s
most beautiful women (who just happen to be men) will be taking to the
stage in seven UK cities and transporting you away from the mundane and
into a fantasy land filled with glamour and sparkle.
The tour celebrates their ten year anniversary, and who better to tell us
about the new Devils And Angels themed show than Tony Wilkie Miller,
who has been with the Lady Boys from the beginning? “Basically the show
is fun – we’re not preaching or selling, we’re entertaining,” he says. “In
this production the Lady Boys are the devils and the male dancers are the
angels – so it’s a cheeky switch.”
The Lady Boys refer to themselves as Kathoey, meaning they are neither
male nor female. And they’re not just a westernised drag act. They have
created a lifestyle and have engineered their bodies to be the ‘third sex’,
but no Lady Boy would dare be seen in public without at least an hour of
primping and preening.
While Buzz will be first in line for the show, not everyone accepts the Lady
Boys and what they stand for. “A few years ago in Newcastle we wanted
to run an advert on a local radio station,” says Tony. “But they said we
could only run it after 1am and before 5am, because allegedly the word
‘ladyboys’ was offensive to some of their listeners. But their sister stations
in Manchester and Bristol had run it without any issues. So it’s all down to
personal perception.”
But Buzz believes being a bit naughty can be a bit nice, and so throw on
some sequins and glitter and get yourself to The Wales Millenium Centre on
Admission: £19. Info:
BRINGING you “the young, the new and alternative,” the Academi Baylit festival
will storm Cardiff this month (Wed 8-Tues 14) with many leading literary stars in
tow. This annual festival of spoken writing consists of a series of bilingual events
and workshops in various venues throughout the centre of Cardiff.
Get your hands on the latest local releases while enjoying readings from the
writers themselves at the Borders’ Lunchtime Lit series. Fflur Dafydd, Eurig
Salisbury, Meirion Jordan and Joanna Davies are set to turn up, so don’t miss
your chance to meet these exciting authors in person.
At Poetry, Prose, And Pinot Grigio, New Welsh Review editor, critic, and
poet Kathryn Gray will introduce an evening of readings from some of the
best young Welsh writers. “This year’s Baylit boasts a really exciting line-up,”
she says, “and I am delighted to be a part of it. For aspiring new writers it’s
an absolute must. Aside from Poetry, Prose And Pinot Grigio, I’d also highly
recommend Lunchtime Lit with Meirion Jordan who’ll be reading from his new
collection Moonrise.”
Embark on a bizarre tour of the M25’s service stations as hit poerty collective
Aisle 16 (pictured) bring their Services To Poetry to The Wharf. This live
performance poetry is accompanied by “the dullest holiday slideshow ever,”
and as fun as that sounds, is collecting praise all over Britain. Why service sta-
tions? Joel Stickley explains, “When it comes to finding things to write about,
we’re nothing if not thorough. Once you’ve tackled love, death, politics and
daffodils, there’s really only service stations left.”
The festival will wrap up with PoetryLive!, an opportunity for GCSE pupils to
see live performances by leading poets including Carol Ann Duffy and Gillian
Clarke in the Wales Millennium Centre. Limited seats are available for the
general public, so book early to avoid disappointment.
Much of the festival is aimed at encouraging young people to enjoy and get
involved with the literary arts. As for aspiring writers, Kathryn Gray gives some
advice: “Before you write, read. It sounds obvious enough, but a surprisingly
large number of aspiring writers forget how crucial this is.”
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