CN Lester‘s Transpose events, somewhat of a legendary community gathering, have been bringing a monthly splash of trans/queer cabaret and performance to London since earlier this year. Last Saturday at ULU, mentally renowned by myself for ridiculously cheap pints and expensive £2 cash points, the Halloween edition took place. Though I don’t celebrate the secular nature of the holiday, the theme was nonetheless an excuse to dress up, and I donned a top hat, fishnets, teeny weeny corset and red lipstick at the last minute to create my costume… vampire ringmistress? Apparently.
Kickstarting the night- apart from cider- was a performance than no other than CN themselves, exquisitely dressed as the ‘gender binary’ (boo, hiss!), creatively and painstakingly as half-male and half-female. The gorgeous CN classics aside, with a number of stunning tracks from 2012 album “Ashes”, the acoustic cover of Jessie J’s “Do It Like a Dude” was particularly fitting for the gathering at hand, and it worked surprisingly well. Whilst retaining its recognisability, it was soothing, with a bonus of a delicate operatic ending… though watching a skinny white person singing ‘mandem’ is always hilarious.
Poetry and spoken word was the staple of the evening, featuring Sandra Alland‘s short, biting comedy; Jacq Applebee‘s raunchy tale of drag king domming; and two (!) much-anticipated fairytales featuring mythical beasts by Kat Gupta (who read at Translations earlier in the week) and Hel Gurney. All were, of course, brilliant, and the variety in the pieces was refreshing and kept the evening moving.
Interspersed throughout the night were two short films by poet Sandra, who worked in Scotland with young trans* people with disabilities. Both were written and directed by the young people- one featuring a young trans woman who told a story of overcoming her fears, and the other a young trans man drag queen. Marginalised voices and viewpoints, especially in the trans* community, are always great to hear, and this perfectly captured the intersectionality and creativity of different ongoing projects happening around the UK.
Finishing the night with the bang was Squid and the Krakens, a quirky, queer three piece, who pandered to the crowd by playing a rousing rendition of the “Time Warp”. Dancing in heels after a few was a challenge I accepted with gusto, and it was the perfect way to end another fabulous night out.
Same this time next month, CN?