Read time:3 minute, 22 seconds

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Thursday 10th August 2023 through to October 12th 2023

A David Hoyle show is a truly unique experience and it is meant to be.  I once described him as Kate Bush’s and Lyndsey Kemp’s love child. His talent is undeniable, and he asks his audience, as he narrates, to think out of the box with him.

As you look around the packed room, it mirrors “Warhol’s Factory”. From the lady you feel sure may have been one of Warhol’s prodigys in her hay day, with the bright pink hair to trans adorned Hoyle’s congregations,long before it became a topic of conversation. But it is not just the LGBTIQQ community that worship here. Men in suits that look like they have come straight from work in the city or just people who love art or good conversation can be found at David Hoyle shows.

    ” Everyone is beautiful in this room” David assures us all

The atmosphere is electric before David even enters the room. If people-watching is your thing, part of the experience is to join like-minded people before the show gets going. The excitement is mounting as a virgin David audience member whispers to me,“I just love drag”.

Every David Hoyle show is different

“He is not drag”, I replied, well not in the traditional form: you won’t see Hoyle entering “Ru Paul Drag Race” any day soon. Certainly, he appears in tattered stockings and a night dress that had seen better days.

I would love to hear Michelle Visage questioning Hoyle’s sewing skills (I’d pay to hear his reply!).

Hoyle is simply art. You never know which David you’re getting and it reflects how he feels about the state of the world that night.  On one show he will walk on stage dressed like Frank N Furter meets Bowie’s Space Oddity, oozing glamour. The next show his hair will be in bunches like Violet Elizabeth, his tooth having fallen out, as he talks about poverty as an artist. Or he walks on with his face bare, a few nights after the Manchester bombing (his now hometown), opening his heart to the pain we are all feeling.

He moves amongst us handing out autographed prints of his actual artwork. Hoyle uses his audience as his paint brushes. He asks those at the front why they have taken prime position, if they did not want him to point them out.

Hoyle does not take cheap shots at people unlike so many that humiliate audience members. Even when confronted by the more difficult patron. To this day it still makes me chuckle to think about when he asked a slightly drunk man what he did. “I do what you do”, the man grandly replied.

Hoyle retorted, “Really! I had no idea I was generic!”

Hoyle will make fun of himself, asking if anyone fancies a 61-year-old homosexual with a bridge tooth, he chats about the difficulties of dating as an older gay man.  David gives sermons on not fitting in the box, or on everyday life as an artist, or those that do not want to conform or those that do. He does not ask you to agree or disagree, but merely to think. This may not sound like a form of entertainment, but it is, and he packs out venues with those wanting to hear him.

Hoyle always finishes off by doing a portrait of an audience member. Again it could be ritual humiliation but instead the chosen one is always made to feel special, but the audience is in hysterics.

David is so very special , and it is a joy to walk away having seen someone so gifted who often bares more than his soul to his audience .  Please go see this icon.

CLICK HERE for David Hoyle’s October 12th show

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Steven Smith

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