You can read all the rules and regs here – although the most important thing, naturally, is to look and feel fabulous. One person who can’t wait is the host of the evening, Rikki Beadle-Blair. The writer and actor is reprising a role he first took up for a similar event in 2008, and says he can’t wait to return on Friday. “Obviously it’s a fun night out and an amazing experience, but there’s more to it than that,” he says.
“Vogue is initially a gay, black phenomenon from New York, yet what happened in Liverpool was that it was sprung open to absolutely everyone. You had people from all walks of life walking down the runway, finding their humour, their glamour, their sexiness and pride – and it was the most amazing night. I can’t describe it, other than there’s men, women, gay, straight, old young, all finding their inner star.”
Vogue – which most people were first introduced to by Madonna in 1990 – actually began in Harlem in the 1920s and 30s, with the black drag queens evoking the white movie stars and their poses, as seen in glossy magazines.
“Vogue balls have had a resurgence and now there’s a recession getting worse, people look for something that elevates them and gets them away from all that,” Rikki adds. “And Liverpool is the place for that to happen. Liverpool is a place where the people are prepared to embrace and be proud of that ‘underclass’ status, if you like. People don’t have any pretensions, have no airs and graces about themselves and always come together. So it’s the perfect place for it.”
Liverpool is one of Londoner Rikki’s favourite cities – and it’s a place that is keeping him rather busy of late. In fact he has recently turned a work originally commissioned for Homotopia into a film. FIT, which began as an anti-bullying play premiered at the Liverpool gay arts festival and went on to tour schools, will have a limited cinema and DVD release at end of November, and Rikki hopes one day there will be a screening at FACT.
KickOff, about gay members of a 5-a-side football team, is a new comedy slated for a spring DVD release, and Bashment is about a gay hip hop artist which he hopes will do the European film festival circuit. He has also made a TV pilot for a show about the free school system. Rikki attended one himself and wants to show that they are not always an indulgence of middle class.
He says: “My work was always going to be about humanity and what unites us and the lines that divide us. Whether it’s about class, race, sexuality, immigration, all these things are fascinating to me.”
Tickets for the Vogue Ball, this Friday (October 29) at Nation on Wolstenholme Square, are available here.