BWD: Introduce us to yourself?
Mark: Hello hello, I’m Mark T Cox, an Irish-born, piano-playing, big dickie-bow wearing, pop song singing cabaret STAR (or at least that’s what my agent tells me to say). I’m a performer, songwriter, comedian and cabaret host, living in East London and performing in a mix of bars, clubs and theatres across London.
BWD: When did you first discover you had musical talent?
Mark: My first regular performance ‘gig’ came at an early age, growing up in the West of Ireland. When I was about 7 years old, I was given the job of playing the church organ in my local parish church. I became the local organ boy, playing for mass every weekend for about 10 years until I was 17. And I took it very seriously. I thought I was a major celebrity! I would practice every day. I would plan new songs every week, something to keep the ‘fans’ excited. My ‘fans’ were tiny little old women in their 70s, with pretty poor hearing. But they loved it. And it gave me a strange, but valuable introduction to the world of music and performance. When I turned 17, I realised I was a flaming homosexual, so I packed my purse and headed off to the city to start my new life as a cabaret toy boy.
BWD: Which artists inspire you most?
Mark: There are so so many. From the cabaret world, I have always been a huge fan of David Hoyle, Bourgeois & Maurice, Our Lady J and of course the iconic Kiki and Herb. Some other acts doing very impressive things are Frisky and Mannish, and the ever glamorous Reuben Kaye. In music, I’m still a sucker for 00s pop – anything from Britney, Jlo, Xtina will still always give me inspiration.
BWD: A whole bunch of absolute icons right there, great places to draw inspiration from.
BWD: What’s it like getting to work with drag artists?
Mark: Exhausting!!! They’re big, and loud, and always look more glamorous than me. And they ALWAYS take over the stage. But I love them. :p
BWD: Preach, we know exactly what it’s like to stand beside ’em. You look good on stage though.
BWD: Do you have any fave people to collab with?
Mark: My very first cabaret collab was with my dear dear friend Veda Lady. She’s an iconic legend on the Dublin drag scene. Somebody you NEED to know about. She found me singing in Pantibar one night about 10 years ago and picked me up. We set up a very fun duo called Slap & Tickle and we were a hit! We held a weekly residency at The George, Ireland’s oldest gay bar, and we toured all across Ireland, various summer festivals and things. It was an excellent little partnership. And we still manage to work together whenever we can! We kicked off 2020 with a sold out show at The Glory in London which was such fun. And we’ve had her over for a few guest appearances at the RVT and Bethnal Green Working Mens Club a few times. She’ll be back.
I’ve been doing some very exciting work with Drag Race UK star Vinegar Strokes over the last few years. And we have some BIG plans in the works. All a little on hold at the moment, but watch this space! Vinegar is a sweetheart, and such an incredible voice! It’s always such a joy to perform with her. And she’s filthy! In a good way.
And of course my long term collaborator Xnthony, Ireland’s premiere boy drag star! We’ve been performing together for almost 5 years and we have done some incredible things, in some amazing space! Last year we took shows to The Barbican, Vault Festival, as well as regular club nights at The Glory and Bethnal Green. Lots and lots of new exciting work coming from us in 2020, including a run at Brighton Fringe with our fave comedy co-star Harriet Braine (look her up, she is a superstar!).
BWD: What’s your top bop right now?
Mark: In fitting with the virus lock down, I have to say ‘Break My Heart’ by Dua Lipa (listen to the chorus, you’ll understand).
BWD: Living for Dua right now and you ain’t wrong, she done warned us all.
BWD: Which of your own creations are you most proud of?
Mark: Right now, I am actually most proud of something which hasn’t even happened yet! I have been working on a new show for the past 6 months which was scheduled to premier at Edinburgh Fringe this year. It’s all on hold a little at the moment, but it WILL HAPPEN SOON. I can’t tell you what the show is about yet, but I’m very proud of it and I think it’s going to be very special! Stand by.
BWD: Well that’s something for us to look forward to right there!
BWD: What shade of blue are those gorgeous eyes?
Mark: Baby blue, of course!
BWD: You can change one thing about the world, what is it?
Mark: It would be just lovely if everyone could be a little nicer to each other. This is a big big ask of the world, but such a simple thing. A smile and a little compassion for others could make a big difference in this world.
BWD: Which fellow queers would you recommend we follow – choose 3!
Go show this gorgeous guy some love over on the Instagrams!