Thursday, 12 April 2012


Adrella, (Peter Searle) has died.

Here she is on the stage of the White Swan with a rather good looking chap in ill fitting jeans. Circa 1993.

I don't recall why I agreed to enter a comedy karaoke competition, but I do recall I didn't win.

There was something about drag back then that forged the identity of many a gay man.

The gratitude I feel to Adrella, Lily Savage, Regina Fong et al isn't confined to appreciating the bloody good entertainment they provided.

They affirmed us all, when few others did. They made the 'gay scene' a less threatening place. They helped build a community during the darkest days of the epidemic which was killing so many us.

Paul O'Grady spoke at Regina's funeral. I wonder if Lily Savage might show up at Adrella's.

Just for old times sake.


  1. Sad news indeed - Sunday afternoons with Adrella at the Vauxhall Tavern back in the 80's were a gay mans rite of passage

    1. Who could forget ""Mum of the week and T"ime to dump last nights trade!

  2. Replies
    1. Michael Wallace-Reid13 April 2012 at 01:26

      Really sorry to hear this. Adrella became part of our early life when we'd go to the Vauxhall every Sunday.

      When I complimented him on one of the later performances (a rendition of Comme ils disent)he came across as a good person.

  3. Father Bernard Lynch13 April 2012 at 17:48

    So so true Sebastian. They -- the Drag Queens -- were and are the original 'freedom fighters' for all LGBT people. We owe them our lives . . . May She/He Rest in Peace.

  4. Yes a good forerunner to the freedom of the scene today, Many times stood insults to my singing contibutions at Karaoke, also not ever a winner, both at the White Swan And the Vauxhall, these are days past now never to be returned, very sad loss may She He Rest in the Arms of Our Lord.

  5. I saw her a few times after moving to London in the early 90's but she wasn't at her best but I had heard of her, Lil & Reg in Scotland long before moving and I feel honoured to have been able to see them all - much missed!

  6. I met Peter in 1987 (we worked together on the first International Aids Day. Peter was a true friend, our politics were very different but Peter was a truly committed and honest individual. I can honestly say he was brave when others were not and he took many peoples slings and arrows. I will miss him, but will never ever forget him. It was Peter with a P. XXXX Many thanks to Sebastian for this opportunity.xx

    1. Parris, couldn't say it better myself. Peter made me see a different side of life that I will be forever grateful to him for. The thousands of miles driving him here and there and everywhere. Fab times, great memories. Never forgotten.
      Dean. XX

  7. I agree with all the stuff about the proto-revolutionary qualities of drag and how it was especially important in the awful dark age of the 80s etc. But, I heard he had been very cruel to other artistes.

  8. I don't know who he was unkind to but I will remember him fondly. When I was a new performer he welcomed me into his home and gave me encouragement. The funeral was a fitting tribute with lovely (and respectfully funny)words from Paul O' Grady. x Millie T