Barnaby Bright presents A Midsummer Night’s Queen drag cabaret

Barnaby Bright is a collection of midsummer events that will take place this June around the summer solstice in the historic spaces of Macclesfield town centre, brought to you by the team at Barnaby Festival.

A Midsummer Night’s Queen is a drag queen cabaret and catwalk competition inspired by William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Taking place at Mash Guru the event will provide a safe space for everyone to come together and celebrate the art of drag queens, whether you want to participate or simply watch.

There will be a well-lit dressing room area upstairs at Mash Guru with rails of clothes, wigs, jewellery and shoes in the frocks and locks area. The aim is to invite guests who are new to drag to dress up and gain expert advice from the more experienced queens.

Your host for the evening will be accomplished drag queen Nana Nancy, who will compere the evening with her humour as the queens sashay down the catwalk lip-synching, dancing or singing encouraged to show their talents.

Nana Nancy says: “We’re going to have so much fun. We’re going with a soul train style beauty pageant. I can’t wait to get back on stage and am already planning my outfit.

“We want to celebrate the town’s queer presence and we are welcoming everyone. It will be a great night out and I’m so pleased to be celebrating drag culture in my hometown for Barnaby.”

There will be a puck shop  – taking its name from the mischievous fairy in Shakespeare’s play – with trinkets and treasures to buy.

The drag queens will be judged by a panel including; Carol Ann Whitehead, Barnaby Bright programme director; Lady Sharon Farley-Mason CEO of Glamsticks and founder of Bespoke by Lady Sharon who will be donating the winner’s crown; Ilona Kasanova a drag queen and Mark Dyson a Trustee from Macclesfield Pride.

Carol Ann Whitehead, Barnaby Bright programme director, says: “At Barnaby we want to celebrate diversity and promote equality and inclusion. We want people to feel safe and welcome and to participate. You can come in drag and watch or you can come in your everyday wear and experience drag for the first time.”

Carol is also an Event Production lecturer at Access Creative College, and some of her students will be interns for the event.

She added: “It’s a fantastic work experience for the students. Mash Guru is a friendly place for people to be themselves whoever they are.  Anyone who wants to be a drag queen can participate in the show.”

Scott Thornton from Macclesfield’s Basement Traxx will be sound tracking the evening with iconic gay anthems to get everyone in the mood.

The judges marking criteria will take a leaf out of Ru Paul’s rulebook and they’ll be looking for charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent.

The winner will be crowned a midsummer’s night queen with a donated ‘Bespoke by Lady Sharon Farley Mason’ tiara.

Tickets are priced £10 and are available here and the event on the revised date Saturday July 31 will start at 8pm. Those who are taking part in the show are invited to come and get ready from 7pm. Mash Guru is located on Back Wall Gate in Macclesfield.

In the lead up to the event if you want to donate clothes, shoes or jewellery please contact Mash Guru via Facebook or at

Barnaby Bright brought to you by the team at Barnaby Festival. All events will be delivered with measures in place to comply with Covid 19 restrictions. Social distancing will be monitored carefully