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The Next World: Krystal Versace Talks New Solo Show, RuPaul's Drag Race UK And Tour Life

Thursday, 06 October 2022 Written by Laura Johnson

Imagine reaching one of the biggest milestones of your career at 19. While many that age were navigating their first year of university, Krystal Versace, the drag queen created by Luke Fenn, was busy being crowned the winner of the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, making them the youngest competitor to snatch the crown in the show’s history.

Since then, Krystal Versace has continued to tick goals off her bucket list, with barely enough time to scribble down new ones. She toured the US with the British Invasion Tour, as well as completing a trek that saw her perform in 40 cities over two months, while taking a victory lap at RuPaul’s DragCon LA.

“It started off a bit strange for me, I didn’t really know what to do,” admits Fenn. “I’d conquered something so massive so quickly and at such a young age. So it was weird at the start, trying to figure out what to do next.

“Then the tours started coming in, and I started travelling. It’s been incredible, to be able to say my first tour has been in the States, and I’ve done 40 cities, that was major. I’ve toured twice in the States now, and I literally had five days when I got back, then it was back on tour again in the UK.”

That seems like a tall order for someone who can’t drink in the majority of the Stateside venues they’re performing in. So is it all work and no play on the road? In short, no. Fenn admits to Krystal being “a party girl”, who is living it up every chance she gets, regularly not surfacing until around midday, before the make-up process begins at 3pm, the meet and greet follows at six. Then, it’s showtime!

“The one thing I love about touring is it’s just go go go. Even me as an artist, and my creative persona as Krystal, has changed so much because I’m starting to experiment with different things,” Fenn explains. “You know, you’re stuck with the same cases for so long you end up mixing stuff up, generally trying to chisel away at that character, and it grows. 

“The whole time I was in the States I came back and had such a vision of how I wanted to look. Having an eye for fashion, even more so because I feel like you’re doing it so often, you get to really progress with the art form even more.”

Necessity is the mother of invention, and touring is the catalyst for that in Krystal’s case: “It keeps me inspired, [being] surrounded by other artists. It just gives you another perspective.” 

Fenn’s continuous drive to evolve and push the envelope is just one of the reasons that Krystal is tipped to become one of the most important drag acts on the scene. Another is her flawless and fierce make-up, which he reveals some people view as “severe”. Fenn, though, remains steadfast in his vision for his drag.  

“I’ve always been so driven, and ‘eyes on the prize’,” he explains. “I’ve always gone for what I wanted without letting anything stop me. But I learned from a young age that listening to people is very important to getting a perspective, whether you like the opinion or not.” 

“To this day I’m still studying it, I’m studying my own face, learning from my own skills. It’s a constant journey for me,” Fenn continues, having considered expanding his repertoire to include make-up mogul in a similar fashion to Drag Race alumni Trixie Mattel and Kim Chi, who have both launched successful cosmetic companies.

“I really want to start maybe collaborating with a brand and just getting a feel for it, and starting to see where that goes, see more behind the scenes, instead of diving straight into creating your own brand, because that’s a really difficult thing to do,” Fenn explains, with a voice of experience that belies his young age. “So, I just want to test the water and see how it goes.”

That’ll have to be a new entry for the bucket list, as Fenn’s been busy over the last five months developing Krystal’s new solo show, The Next World. It will premiere at the London Palladium on October 7 and 8 as part of the events for the Series 3 Tour of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. 

“There’s been a lot of hurdles to try and get where we have, but being given the opportunity to now open the Palladium is iconic,” he says. “The amount of icons that have put on a show there is countless, so it’s a real honour for me to be putting my first show on in the Palladium. 

“It’s going to be full of classic Krystal, the next generation of drag and where I see my drag taking place and the future of it. It’s the first show with me as the producer and me as the star. My drag family is part of it, and that’s never happened before. I’m going to bring out my house in the show, it’s part of my journey. 

“The whole show is just a journey of my life. There’s gonna be maybe some tears, maybe some laughs, but overall it’s going to be a gobsmack of a show. It’s just going to be ultimate, fierce drag, and I can’t wait to show off the looks, performance, visuals, everything, it’s the whole fantasy.” 

So, surely the next step is a Krystal Versace solo tour? “Yes, hopefully. This is the start for me,” Fenn beams. “It’s the start of me having full control over something that I’ve always wanted to do, something that I’m so passionate about, so I really hope that I can bring it around, and it not just be the Palladium. This is the next world of Krystal, so I want everyone to experience it no matter where I go. Hopefully we can squeeze in a tour at some point, that would be the ultimate dream.”

RuPaul's Drag Race UK Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri October 07 2022 - LONDON Palladium
Sat October 08 2022 - LONDON Palladium
Wed October 12 2022 - SOUTHEND Cliffs Pavilion
Fri October 14 2022 - IPSWICH Regent Theatre
Sat October 15 2022 - STOCKTON Globe
Sun October 16 2022 - HARROGATE Convention Centre

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