Hartlepool drag act promises to do the town proud in final of national competition
A Hartlepool drag queen is aiming to be heels above the rest after making it through to the final of a national competition.
Anthony Layton performs as Celeste St Clair and is preparing to appear in the Miss Drag UK show on Sunday, March 28.
The 21-year-old from Hartlepool became involved in the drag scene after first pulling on costumes at comic conventions, with his act now bringing together stand up, lip syncing and singing, honing his talent on the scene in Hull.
He returned home as the pandemic began and is making the final preparations for the final in Maidstone, having been postponed last year.
Celeste has already appeared alongside stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK including Bimini, Cherry Valentine, Tia Kofi, Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister from its second series, as well as Cheryl Hole from its first.
It is hoped live shows will soon return as lockdown easing allows, with a roast – which sees artists mock each other – already among events planned.
The final, which will involve two runway events and a group show, will see each performer in the running for the titles of Miss Congeniality and Miss Charity, with Anthony’s eyes on the prize of Miss Publicity, where each is challenged to appear in a red sash in as many media appearances as possible.
Anthony, who worked as receptionist before the coronavirus crisis struck, said: “We refer to them as our drag persona, so Celeste is pretty much a version of me, but an inflated persona, so she’s much more confident, much more funnier and can walk in heels a lot better than me.
“The other queens are gorgeous and I feel like this is my time, I’ve been able to use the time to polish my performance and now I’m more excited than nervous.”
Anthony, who works alongside Rich T Events in Hull, has previously appeared at an event in his home town and added: “I love performing in Hartlepool and I’ve done a family show at the Borough Hall before.
"It was just lovely, the mams loved it and so did the kids.
"I’m the most northern queen in this competition, so it’s good to represent the town.”
Celeste can be followed on social media via https://www.facebook.com/ThatQueenCeles.