Stand-alone Vauxhall mecca
Indestructible Victorian pub with a special gay history — including drag perfomances since the middle of the last century — and a relentless party spirit, known to its own as the RVT and now registered with the local council (Lambeth) as an Asset of Community Value. Themed nights showcase comedy and alternative cabaret, most famously Saturday-regular Duckie [see entry], hosted by New Jersey-born handbag-wielding lipstick-lipped lesbian Amy Lamé, welcoming lovers of the Smiths, Kate Bush, the Mamas & the Papas, Depeche Mode, Baccara and Boney M. From late Sunday afternoons expect stimulated shirtless men keeping Saturday night alive in tea-dance style with entertainment spearheaded by impersonator Charlie Hides TV, who in 2013 took over the slot made famous by the Dame Edna Experience over the previous 14 years. Regular Tuesday tenant Bar Wotever provides an "open stage for up and coming queer talents to show off", while Mondays go all ironic with the RVT's twist on bingo. Weekly Sunday Social started summer 2015, with not only cabaret but DJs too. Among the pub's other claims to fame is the joint visit in 1988 by singer Freddie Mercury (a former Coleherne regular), comic star and broadcaster Kenny Everett and, incognito as a man, Diana, Princess of Wales. On 30 September 2014, following the sale of the venue, the RVT announced plans for a "full refurbishment both internal and external", including a new wine and champagne bar on the first floor (US = second floor). The Vauxhall Tavern promises to remain gay despite wariness in light of Vauxhall's ongoing slick and massive redevelopment.
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NEARBY BARS & CLUBS
Duckie (at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern)
372 Kennington Lane
Bar Wotever (at Royal Vauxhall Tavern)
372 Kennington Lane
Arches 47b and 47c, South Lambeth Rd
Club No. 65
65 Albert Embankment
Horse Meat Disco (at Eagle London)
349 Kennington Lane