Fresh from the release of their debut book None Of The Above and touring with Jonathan Van Ness across Australia and New Zealand, Travis Alabanza’s newest theatre offering Sound Of The Underground spotlights London’s iconic underground queer club and nightlife culture. 

The past two years have seen Alabanza cement themselves as a genre-defining theatre-maker, with hit after hit, taking trans stories and allowing them to shine in their own nuanced, beautiful way. 

In 2021, their play Overflow, starring Reece Lyons and directed by Debbie Hannan, was set in a women’s bathroom and has been performed in London and Australia, being heralded as “a future classic” by the Evening Standard.

It shone a light on the community found in nightlife and flipped the narrative of trans panic in gendered spaces. This all coming off the back of a sell out worldwide run of their breathtaking show Burgerz, it’s a privilege to be a viewer of the work that Alabanza is sharing with the world.

GAY TIMES has the exclusive first look at the cast of Sound Of The Underground, their new offering which will be performed at one of the world’s most renowned venues, the Royal Court Theatre.

The full cast includes LGBTQ+ nightlife royalty such as Ms Sharon Le Grand, Rhys Hollis as Rhys’s Pieces, Sue Gives A Fuck, Chiyo, Tammy Reynolds as Midgitte Bardot, Wet Mess, Lilly SnatchDragon and Mwice Kavindele as Sadie Sinner The Songbird.  

We sat down with the cast to find out more about their debut at the Royal Court Theatre and what we can expect.

First up is nightlife legend Lilly SnatchDragon, an award-winning neo-burlesque comedy drag performer. 

“I love doing theatre. I miss taking a piece of text and making it my own,” she explains.

“But this show? This is our voices, our thoughts and a little of my life. The idea of a bunch of ‘cabaret night folks’ in a ‘proper theatre’ … that’s inspiring.”

Rhys adds: “I want to mess with the conventions of what ‘theatre is’. I want to be a part of shaking it up and smashing the world of cabaret with this theatrical realm.”

The show, which premieres on 19 January at the Royal Court Theatre, promises legends of the London queer club scene coming “out from under the gutter” to take over the RCT. Expect punk, profanity and a fierce fight about workers’ rights as the cast asks the question ‘What does it mean to get your money’s worth when it comes to art?’

“I love Travis Alabanza with all my heart,” shares Chiyo, the first trans man to compete for Mr Gay UK, drag artist and model and member of the Sound of the Underground cast.

“They are extremely talented, and being part of something which has their name on it is my proudest career move to date.”

Creator of The Cocoa Butter Club and star of GAY TIMES Honours 2022, Mwice Kavindele as Sadie Sinner The Songbird, sees their casting as divine.

“After being captivated by Reece Lyons in Overflow, my soul decided it would be in a Travis Alabanza play. It seems that Travis writes in a way that honours the actor and not just the role they play.”

Sound of the Underground was written by Travis Alabanza and co-created by Debbie Hannan. 

The performance on 31 January will include a post-show Q&A with Travis Alabanza. This event is free with a ticket to that evening’s performance.

You can book tickets here.