ABOUT THE GLORY …
The Glory is an East End pub and LGBTQ+ performance venue, with a basement disco at weekends and shows throughout the week.
The Glory is owned by drag stars Jonny Woo and John Sizzle, and many of the venue’s bar staff are influential East London artists and creatives. The Glory opened in 2014 and has been credited with raising the standard of gay bars across London, as well as launching the careers of countless performers on stage, radio and more recently television.
Where is The Glory?
The Glory is located in Haggerston, close to where Kingsland Rd crosses the Regent’s Canal, by what has been tongue-in-cheek named ‘The Haggerston Riviera’.
The Glory is a 2 minutes walk from Haggerston Station, or a 10 minutes stroll from Dalston or Shoreditch. (Some people refer to this whole area as Shoreditch) From Liverpool St station both the 242 and 149 heading north stop right outside the pub (Laburnum Rd stop) Alternatively you can stroll along the canal from London Fields or Angel.
Due to this location, The Glory plays ‘local boozer’ to an interesting host of characters, including notable artists, emerging fashion designers and leftfield pop stars.
A club on weekends
Weekend discos can be notoriously raucous affairs, closing in the early hours revellers often then go-on to East London’s gay clubs – feeding into nights like Dollar Baby, Savage, Chapter 10 and Little Gay Brother. The Glory’s main pub is almost always free entry during the week, and free before 10pm on weekends – with a small door charge kicking in after. Ticketed shows happen downstairs, opening into a disco afterwards at weekends for everyone who’s in the venue. On Sundays The Glory opens at 1pm – no questions asked.
There are drag shows and LGBTQ+ arts events and ‘happenings’ here most nights. Friday nights are always a drag-fuelled disco with an early ticketed show downstairs. Saturday nights include ‘Glory Lates’ – a weekly show at 10.30pm downstairs from a major cabaret star. Sundays are a regular ‘salon’ hosted by original 1980s ‘Blitz Kid’ Princess Julia.
The Glory curates its own shows and approaches drag queens – Some present their own ticketed shows in the cabaret lounge, others do pop-up numbers, and there are some regular monthly mixed-bill shows. These include ‘Baby Lame’s Shit Show’, ‘Non-Binary Cabaret’, ‘Werk In Progress’ (a free salon at which performers try out new numbers and ideas), ‘Sex Shells’ (a musical sketch comedy troupe), and ‘BoiBox’ (a drag king night).
The Glory creates London’s most-talked about drag contest LIPSYNC1000 (established at Bistrotheque in 2004 under a different name, created and hosted by Jonny Woo) Over 100 drag queens enter the contest each year which culminates in a big cash prize Grand Final judged by celebrities. The Glory also founded Europe’s biggest drag king battle MAN UP in 2015, and The Glory have been credited with vitalising London’s booming drag king scene.
The Glory on tour: as a pioneering LGBTQ+ performance and party brand..
As well as being open seven days a week, The Glory create external events around the year. These include the National Theatre takeover weekend in July; the cabaret tent at Latitude Festival; The Glory tent at Sink The Pink’s festival Mighty Hoopla; the Man Up final (currently held at Earth), the LIPSYNC1000 final (currently held at The Grand); summer events with TimeOut; Kaleidoscope festival; the Gay Bingo Boat Party; Milkshake festival. Jonny Woo creates East London’s biggest annual show The Un-Royal Variety at Hackney Empire and Jonny takes shows to Edinburgh and Soho Theatre.
The Glory curates, under Jonny Woo, the drag talent and gogo dancers who appear in Block 9’s notorious gay club NYC Downlow at Glastonbury.
There are close links between The Glory and drag party collective Sink The Pink – many contestants from The Glory’s LIPSYNC1000 battle have gone on to win the Miss Sink The Pink title later on in the year, including ShayShay, Grace Shush, Georgie Bee and Jonbenet Blonde.
A theatre venue…
The Glory usually stage one or two plays a year. Previous productions include Outbox Theatre’s play ‘Affection’, Georgie Spiegelfeld’s productions of ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ and ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, and Alexis Gregory’s play ‘Sex/Crime’ which The Stage gave 5 stars to, landing The Glory a place in Time Out’s Top 5 ‘pub theatres’.
The Glory is on friendly terms with several theatres in London including The Young Vic, Soho Theatre, The Roundhouse and Royal Court.
The Glory is one of London’s most-written about gay bars.
The Glory’s Instagram account @TheGloryLDN is one of London’s most followed venue accounts offering a visual slice of what’s on stage as well as what’s going on behind-the-scenes, bringing ideas to the rest of the gay scene, and inspiration to LGBTQ+ people all around the world.