Taken circa 1995 at The Black Cap, Camden Town, London.
The one and only, true original, Her Imperial Highness,Regina Fong. His act is now legendary, it was part ‘Watch with Mother , part Cruella Deville , part Lipsynch for your life, part Reg. Genius. He often performed with Lily Savage and Adrella at the RVT and Black Cap and these three are probably the three biggest drag queens eva!
When I arrived at The Black Cap for the shoot, I was asked to wait downstairs by a barman and told ‘Reg would be with me soon, he’s upstairs’. I waited, nervous, wondering which side of the character would I get? Imperious and regal would Regina shred me? I wanted to impress and amuse and drifted off in my imagination …anyway after about half an hour I woke up and realised Reg hadn’t appeared. I looked for the barman but he was nowhere to be seen. I decided to venture upstairs. I’d lived above a pub throughout my teenage years and I knew what it was like, the living quarters are sacred and private, would I be told to fuck off by some affronted Landlord’s spouse? It was deathly quiet, no sign of life anywhere so I called Reg’s name and heard him say ‘in here’.
It wasn’t the usual dressing room but the slightly grand living room of the public house with a fireplace and mantelpiece and tall drapes covering the windows. It felt like old Hollywood as if Gloria Swanson might appear or Mrs Danvers….
Reg was half ready. I was wittering away trying to engage Reg and for some reason must’ve moved in real close, when I heard him saying something to me but it didn’t compute until he nudged me and ‘will you move!’ in the way he did , as if he was cross but forgiving and indulging you at the same time. I was standing on the train of his dress and he couldn’t budge. Feeling foolish, I stood back and he was looking at himself in the mirror, playing with the curly straw in his drink….now he was ready for his close-up…
Reg later commented that it looked as if he was thinking, ‘Now…what shall I do with the body’.
The picture was voted No1 in Gay Times’ Picturing the Times 250th anniversary edition.