Queenstion Time #3: Charity Kase

Taking a leap into the UK scene, Andrew Nicholls talks to London based queen Charity Kase about horror looks, the possibility of a UK Drag Race and the difference between British and American drag. 

By Queenstion Time
Mon 04 October, 2021

Originally published in June 2018.

Having spoken to two RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni, Queenstion Time is proving the talent in the UK drag scene is just as formidable.

Charity Kase – born Harry Whitfield – is a young queen based in London with a love for twisted glamour. At the young age of 17 she packed her bags and set off for the big city, and she has never looked back.

Inspired by Drag Race’s Phi Phi O’Hara’s 365 Days of Drag challenge, Charity staged her own similar challenge, in which she attempted to broaden the horizons of drag and get a few gasps along the way.

Before starting the consecutive days of drag, Charity had studied art, dabbled in performance and ran a small clothing shop selling custom hand painted clothing and jackets.

As drag becomes more mainstream, the opportunities afforded to UK queens are naturally increasing. That British queens can appear alongside the Drag Race superstars at events such as DragWorld – Europe’s largest drag convention – is a testament to that.

Click here for previous editions of  Queenstion Time with Tatianna and Courtney Act

Planet Slop: Hi Charity! How are you?

Charity Kase: Hi! I’m fabulous thank you!

PS: Did you begin your career doing horror drag, or has this developed over time?

CK: My style has certainly evolved over time. My first looks were more whimsical fantasy characters but my drag has always had a twisted edge and whilst I continue to explore those styles I’m attempting to venture into new ones all the time!

PS: Similar to Phi Phi O’ Hara, you did 365 Days of Drag on Instagram last year, except yours was all horror based. Was it a challenge to create so many horror inspired looks in such a short space of time?

CK: It was much more than horror babe! It ranged from a crystallised David Bowie to an angelic pixie, from a drunken Theresa May on election night to Mrs Pink Panther, from a forlorn Marie Antionette to an Alien Explorer. I did get plenty of horror based characters in there too, although I tried to keep it varied!

PS: How challenging did you find it?

CK: Creating a new character every day way super challenging, time constraints meant looks could only be so extreme! It was great to push myself to my limit and achieve my goal!

PS: Did you have a favourite look out of the 365?

CK: That would be like asking me if I had a favourite child. I simply couldn’t say! Though I do like my carrot top a lot – day 125!

PS: Each of the looks was accompanied by a short story in the caption. Did you write these to go with the looks, or were the looks inspired by the stories?

CK: I like to create stories for my looks, it helps me to give them depth and emotion and it worked both ways! Every time I create a look in my head, I am thinking about the character behind the face and what their life is like. Most of the stories were written afterwards but made up of ideas I’d had throughout the day.

PS: You’ll be surrounded by mainly American queens at DragWorld. What do you think the difference between British and American drag?

CK: The American drag scene is obviously much larger and therefore more diverse in its broadest sense, there is also a pageant culture in American drag which shows through mainstream drag styles. British drag has traditionally been more comedy and theatre based and I think that shows with the approaches of many British queens.

PS: With Drag Race becoming so mainstream, how do you think this will influence British drag?

CK: I think there has been an increase in young drag queens all over the world recently and Drag Race has played a part in that. Drag in the UK is becoming or polished with every new season of Drag Race that airs, HD television and airbrush perfect queens make us all want to practice our blending!

PS: What do you think the chances are of a Drag Race UK, and how do you think it would differ from its American counterpart?

CK: I have no idea! I have no doubt that the UK has the talent and variety of drag queens to create a really amazing season, were someone to decide to go ahead with it!

PS: Do you have any more upcoming projects?

CK: I’m starting a new challenge for the upcoming 12 weeks! I’m going to be creating one twisted Disney character look and costume every week until the beginning of August which I hope will be a little less intense than a daily one! I will also be releasing a new merchandise collection at Drag World in August in collaboration with @Deathbycrabs and I’m working on new videos for my YouTube channel.

PS: Thank you for your time! I hope DragWorld is a great experience!

CK: Thanks a lot! Have a great day!

Charity Kase will appear at DragWorld – Europe’s largest convention of drag – at the Olympia, London between Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of August 2018. Tickets are available now.

Full line-up: Alaska5000, Alfie Ordinary,  Anna Phylactic, Bebe Zahara Benet,  BenDeLaCreme, Benjamin Butch, Biblegirl, Blair St. Clair, Charity Kase, Cheryl Hole, Cheddar Gorgeous, Chiyo, Courtney Act, Crystal Lubrikunt, Darienne Lake, Dax, Erik Witherkay, Farrah Moan, Ginger Minj, Hans Euff, Jiggly Caliente, Jinkx Monsoon, Jujubee, Katya, Manila Luzon, Meth, Miss Fame, Phi Phi O’Hara, Tatianna, Violet Chachki, Zayn Phallic