As she stops off in Cardiff with her festive one-woman show, Canadian drag superstar Brooke Lynn Hytes spills the Tea to Sam Pryce on her dance background, her Christmas plans and her thoughts on British drag…
All hail the Queen of the North! How does it feel to represent Canada and its drag scene for the rest of the world?
It feels amazing. Canada is home to some incredible talent, and I feel so honoured to be the first Queen to show a small part of that off!
Before finding global fame on Season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you were a classically trained ballet dancer. What inspired you to shift from this background into the world of drag?
I have always wanted to be my own boss and I loved drag. It really seemed like the perfect career.
Do you think your dance background was suitable preparation for a career in drag?
Oh absolutely. My dance background was the backbone to getting started in the industry. There were so many other parts that took years to perfect but that was a great start!
It goes without saying that drag has become a global phenomenon. What do you think it is about this art form that connects to so many people from such diverse cultures around the world?
Drag is about being the most fabulous you that you can imagine – no matter who you are or where you are from, you can take part. I love meeting people from all parts of the world and seeing how their different cultures influence their drag.
Since drag has become part of mainstream pop culture, have you noticed any drawbacks? Do you think it’s lost any of its counter-cultural, alternative edge?
There are always drawbacks when something niche becomes mainstream. In this case, there are more drag queens than ever before so it can be harder for girls to get gigs. But I think the competition is good – the cream always rises to the top.
Have you had a chance to watch the UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race yet? Any thoughts on the British queens?
I LOVE the UK version. The girls are killing it!
What else can we expect from Queen of the North Pole?
I have lots of fun projects in the pipeline! Lots of new merchandise on my website at brookelynnhytes.com, my one-woman show debuting and I was recently announced as a permanent judge on Canada’s Drag Race! Lots of exciting things!
I’m dreaming of a Hytes Christmas. What’s your favourite thing about the holiday season?
I love to be able to take a break and see my family. Tour life is wonderful, but it doesn’t allow for a lot of down time.
Brooke Lynn Hytes: Queen Of The North Pole, Glee Club, Cardiff, Tue 17 Dec. Tickets £20-£35. Info: 0871 472 0400 /glee.co.uk/cardiff