Camden Close - Up: Len Blanco
Love Camden loves its local talent. We aim to celebrate everything cultural in the borough, from Hampstead to Kilburn, from the British Library to that little café around the corner - we are always out to show what Camden has to offer. As part of this we launched our Camden Close-Up series: interviews with artists, thinkers, entrepreneurs and downright interesting figures that live, work or are inspired by the borough.
This month we interviewed Len Blanco: the drag king of your dreams. Woke. Feminist. Recovering boyband member. Vegan (Monday to Thursday).
- What would you do if you weren’t doing this? What would your parallel life look like?
Look. I’d probably have been born female and be a non-binary feminist theatre-maker pretending to be a former boyband member for money. He’d probably be called Glen Panko or something stupid and be working on an upcoming show at VAULT Festival. Probably. Either that or a milkman. I love semi-skimmed.
- What do you think is most important: luck, chance, opportunity or hard-graft?
Listen. I have had my fair share of luck, of chance, of opportunity, and dare I say it, of hard-graft. And none of those have ever done as much for me as the unmatched spiritual healing power of crystals. I found this blue one in a cave in Puna, India. It’s really rare. And when you touch it – if you’re ready to connect to your higher self – it will take you at least two steps closer to enlightenment. None of this airy fairy talk about opportunity and hard-graft. Crystals, trust me.
- What has been your most career defining moment to date and why?
Ok. I know you’ll expect me to say something like when my boyband, M4, came in at no.11 in the UK charts with our first hit single, Girl, or when I appeared as one of the options in Cosmo’s Which Celebrity Boyfriend Would You Snag? in their June 1999 edition… but to be truthfully honest with you, my career-defining moment is every day on this beautiful earth we call home. Talking to you, right now, amazing stranger on the internet, knowing that we have an undeniable human connection through these silly little things called ‘words’… Knowing that in some way, both of us have been changed because of this article on Love Camden. That, to me, is a defining moment.
- What are you most proud of and what are you least proud of……and why?
I’m least proud of the man I used to be. And I’m most proud of the man of I’ve become. I am, quite frankly, astonishing.
- Tell us a secret
You are the secret. And if you’re thinking, ‘but Len, what does that mean?’ think on.
Len Blanco makes his Vault Festival debut after being a finalist in Man Up 2017 and appearing on BBC 1’s All Together Now. In his musical comedy cabaret, this recovering boy band member and drag king amongst men will be exclusively revealing just how far he’s come since the 90s. (Spoiler: not very far). Blanco’s larger-than-life debut solo show will deliver live vocals, live lip-sync, live choreography straight out of your favourite music videos, and a whole lotta party vibes. Back off Backstreet Boys, Len’s got this. This isn’t the end of the road. He’s back for good. And he wants it that way.
Co-created by theatre-maker and songwriter, Helen White, and theatre director Freyja Winterson with support of Soho Theatre's Young Company Edinburgh Lab.
**** "Overwhelming talent" - Timeout 2018
"... draws sighs of deep satisfaction from the assembled congregation - fabulous" - Exeunt Magazine 2018
**** "Gorgeously convincing ... super confident ... hardly anyone stopped laughing" - Broadway Baby 2017
Websites and social media:
Instagram: @king_len_blanco and @len_blanco
Facebook: Len Blanco