tail of the pup:

Holly Revell has been documenting the underground queer performance art circuit in London for 10 years, initially setting up photo-booth installations offering the audience a live photographic and interactive experience. She first encountered David Hoyle when he ventured into one of her booths and memorably posed for her in the nude with mutual friend Ashley Ryder. Holly was invited to do more installations alongside his famous shows at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and soon started to turn her camera onto the maestro himself, directly recording his performances. Holly’s relationship with David has continued to develop through his ongoing performance to the camera and having spent so much time sharing the intimacy of his dressing room the photographs have become more and more personal and raw. Her photographs document the highs and the lows of his performance process; from the calm at the start of the night when it feels like “I’m getting a one on one show, never quite knowing if we’re having a ‘real’ conversation or if it’s preparation", to the animated character shots when David is high on adrenaline and in full performance mode leading to the raw exhaustion and anti-climax that can sometimes follow a mind blowing show. Holly Revell presents David Hoyle as a force of nature; powerful, political, hilarious and articulate, yet vulnerable to the core.

Holly is a firm believer in the necessity for good quality, honest documentation of queer culture, its preservation and ensuring its place in history. She is working towards the publication of her first photobook entitled: David Hoyle: Parallel Universe, a limited edition photo-book of photography and artworks emerging from the intimate eight-year collaboration between avant-garde queer performance legend David Hoyle and acclaimed London performance photographer Holly Revell. As well as more than 300 extraordinary unpublished images of David backstage and on stage, the book features over 25 unique artworks created by David especially for the book, and texts by Lois Keidan, David's curator Paul Darling and David's friend and director Nick Blackburn.

She is currently crowd-funding on Kickstarter to raise funds to professionally print the book and get it into the hands of David’s fans, the community, future generations and beyond. If you want to be part of the making of queer history please support/back/share the campaign if you can. All backers will have their name immortalized in the book along with many exciting rewards including the book itself.


David Hoyle has been bringing his message about the politics of gender and other social issues to audiences since the 1990s. Without him the gender fluid drag scene we have become accustomed to in recent years might not exist. He has been a major influence and inspiration, he is an icon and there is nobody like him. Born in 1962 in Blackpool, Hoyle was relentlessly bullied as a child for his effeminacy. At school, both pupils and teachers alike tore into him for years and he later described his journeys to school as akin to walking daily “to his own execution”. It was in the gay clubs of Manchester that he developed the character that was to be known as “The Divine David”; an “anti-drag queen” who combined “lacerating social commentary” with “breath-taking instances of self-recrimination and even self-harm”. This character was so popular that it was only a matter of time before he was doing runs of shows in London theatres and clubs which saw television companies suddenly seeking him out and in the late 1990’s he produced two series for Channel 4; “The Divine David Presents” and “The Divine David Heals”. Eventually, this kind of success was not for him and he killed of the Divine David (as a staged performance on an ice rink!) and after some time out he has returned to the London stage as himself, where you can see him at key venues such as The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, The Bethnal Green Working Men's Club, The Southbank Centre, The Soho Theatre in London along with The Contact Theatre in Manchester.


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