David Hoyle

Beningbrough Hall

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  • LocationBeningbrough Hall: The Saloon
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The sensational anti-drag queen David Hoyle presents a very special performance. Expect polemic, pathos, provocative politicking and high comedy.

Hoyle came to prominence in the 1990s as the Divine David, a kind of anti-drag queen whose lacerating social commentary – targeting both bourgeois Britain and the materialistic-hedonistic gay scene, which he called “the biggest suicide cult in history” – was offset by breathtaking instances of self-recrimination and even self-harm. Following a couple of outré late-night Channel 4 shows and a cameo in Velvet Goldmine, Hoyle killed the Divine David off during a spectacular show at the Streatham Ice Arena in 2000 and retreated to Manchester for “a period of reflection”.

He returned to TV screens in 2005 in Chris Morris’s Nathan Barley, then began performing live again, under his own name. This time round, the chances of serious injury in any given show seemed greatly reduced, but Hoyle’s biting satire, bravura costumes, wicked comic timing and compelling charisma remained intact. As well as the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT), with which he is most closely associated, he’s performed at the Soho Theatre, Chelsea Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Victoria & Albert Museum. Hoyle is back, all right.

“He is raw, sometimes a bit frightening, but also thrilling in his look-no-hands recklessness.” – The Guardian
“There is nothing quite like it: bold and unique, electrifying and disarmingly humane” – Time Out
“David Hoyle is no drag” – The Times

Facebook: @david.hoyle.14

Get Involved

Be part of the live audience!

Join us in person and participate in the conversation between Tanya and David discussing the themes of the project. You will also be encouraged to produce your own visual response which will be incorporated into the final portrait.

We’ll supply digital and analogue materials for your response to David which will be brought into the production of the final portrait.

Live Stream

Join us online!

Through the event live stream and social media you can follow proceedings and contribute questions and visual responses to the project. We encourage the posting of your own visual response to David.

The livestream will be broadcast on YouTube via our channel and live on this webpage.
Sign up to be kept informed about David and the event!


Beningbrough Hall
York, North Yorkshire,
YO30 1DD

01904 472 027
Twitter: @NTBeningbrough
Facebook: @NTBeningbrough
Instagram: @nationaltrust