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In conversation: Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE

The writer/artist/mentor/Renaissance man Rikki Beadle-Blair will be hosting the House of Suarez + Contact: Vogue Ball on the 29th February in Manchester Academy 1, which sold-out six weeks in advance. Beadle-Blair has worked on Vogue Ball every year since its conception and he promises that it only gets better each year.

When asked about how this year’s ball will surpass its predecessors, Beadle-Blair explained that it is bigger than ever before, and it will also be the most diverse, because houses and contesters from cities all over the UK will be participating. He is certain that this year’s performance will be electrifying like “fireworks on New Year’s Eve”.

Beadle-Blair will play the important role of the compère for this event. He is not only responsible for keeping the event on track and being on top of everything that is going on, but he must also build and sustain the energy of the audience. He compared hosting the Vogue Ball to his job as a mentor and reveals that he has set himself a special mission as a host: “To make everybody feel like a star”.

He wishes to inspire confidence in others, to inspire people to trust each other, and to tell everybody participating in the event to free themselves from restrictions. Even though the audience is not performing and the spotlight is not on them, Beadle-Blair wants them to leave feeling confident, like they can achieve everything, be anyone, wear anything they want to wear, be whoever or whatever they want to be, be true to themselves, and to know there are communities and individuals out there who will love them and embrace them for who they are inside.

Though Rikki Beadle-Blair prepares carefully for each event, improvising is also important for him. His performance is larger than life but grounded in humanity and love. Even though he is leading the show, he wants to be approachable and friendly. He always customises his performance for his audience; rather than treating everybody the same way, he wishes to make his audience feel special by seeing who they are and responding to that.

He compares performing to dating and explains that he wants his audience to feel like the performance is especially created for them. When asked about how he will achieve this for Manchester, he explains that the Mancunian audience will start with a high energy so we do not need to be hyped up, but he needs to work on maintaining our energy and to take us on a journey that is not monotonous. The Vogue Ball invites everybody to forget about stress from the outside world and to simply have fun.

When we concluded the interview, Beadle-Blair guaranteed that people will have the time of their lives at Vogue Ball and that it will give the audience, if not the best, then one of the best nights of their lives. His amazing final promise was: “No matter how drunk you get, you will remember it.”

Vogue Ball plays at Manchester Academy 1 on 29th Feb.

Tags: interview, Manchester, manchester academy 1, rikki beadle-blair, Theatre, vogue ball

Anna Jin

Hi! I'm the Fashion Columnist at the Mancunion. I'm working on the column ‘POC around the block’, a series of monthly articles highlighting a person of colour who works in fashion. Instagram & Twitter: @annahanjin
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