Introducing your Queens-in-Waiting for 2016

Here Come the Queens(-in-Waiting)

The tension has just been unbearable, but we are chuffed to bits to announce our 2016 Queens-in-Waiting. Hurrah!


As soon as you read all about them, you’ll be desperate to buy tickets, so before you lose the plot entirely from excitement, why not do that now, here: BUY TICKETS – thanks!

So, in no particular order, your 2016 Queens-in-Waiting…


Coach KerCoachKerryMcCoachry McCoach

She’s the ‘Coachess with the Mostest’ who’s been training the world’s sporting elite for over 25 years. Firm, frank and often controversial, the name Kerry McCoach has become synonymous with sporting success. Now, hot off the release of her tell-all memoir, ‘Be Your Own Cheerleader- The Coach McCoach Story’, Coach Kerry McCoach is here to show you how her coaching methods can be utilised in everyday situations to achieve moderate success in your own life.


DollyDolly-pic1 Clothespeg

Normally found sharing the stage with her fellow band mates: Dolly and the Clothes Pegs, Dolly will be bringing her own brand of singing, banjo skills and spoon playing to Alternative Queen. She loves being part of a band, but is looking forward to trying something new and going it solo, just for the night!




Party Princessstock-photo-12145007-snowman-cake-fell-over

A cabaret style act telling the story of a Princess for children’s parties and the realities of finding love in a very non-Disney world! Combining music and comedy, and is most definitely not an act for children!!



You may have noticed that we’ve fewer contestants here than previous years. FRET NOT! The show is slightly shorter, so this just gives everyone a fair crack. HOWEVER – we are still looking for one more contestant to enter. Can be anything! 3-5mins of whatever you want to show-off. If you think you could do that then pop on over to application form, and let us know: ALTERNATIVE QUEEN APPLICATION FORM

Or alternatively, drop us a line at if you want to know more!

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Alternative Queen of Reading 2016: We’re baaaAAAaaaack…

Alternative Queen 2016 - coverYes, we’re pleased to announce that Alt Queen will be returning on Sunday 24th July as part of Reading Fringe Festival!

Once again, we’ll be looking to showcase the weird, wonderful and downright eccentric side of Reading.  Be you man, woman, or anything in-between, pick up your virtual pen and sign on the non-existent dotted line for your chance to be Reading’s next Alternative Queen.


We’re looking for creative, brave people to get up and show off their hidden or not so hidden talents. Whether you’ve been a performer for years or always secretly wanted to, now’s your chance! See (simple!) application form below. The Queen’s Courtiers are here to serve and happy to talk through any ideas you have, no matter how vague.

Have you got what it takes…?


Queries/questions (like “should I do this”) contact:


Supported by

Alt Reading logo 2016

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Alternative Queen 2016

Greetings Alt Queen friends and fans!

As you’ve probably realised, we are unfortunately unable to bring you Alt Queen 2016 on the weekend of International Women’s Day (8th March) as we normally do, because the Queen’s courtiers are flat out with other projects at the moment.

HOWEVER! We hope to bring you exiting news and should be able to make an announcement soon (ooh – tantalizing!)

In the meantime, please enjoy current reigning Queen Gog’s new music video (courtesy of Workbench Productions)

You can also find out more about International Women’s Day here. Including information about local and national events, and more about this year’s campaign theme #pledgeforparity

Stay groovy AQ-ers!

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Missed the event?

Couldn’t make the event? Fortunately for you we have this handy Storify so you can relive the fun!

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We have a winner!

We’re pleased to announce that the Alternative Queen of Reading 2015 is………..


Who impressed the judges – and the crowd – with her Welsh wit and folksy ways.

All Hail Queen Gog! Long May She Reign (until next year…)

And the runner up was….

Cassie Magnolia!

  Her winsome song and dance piece about the roles forced upon girls (as seen through the eyes of an alien invader), impressed and moved the judges.

Thanks to all our contestants, the acts, the Berlin Baroness and our judges: the Right Honourable the Deputy Mayor of Reading Councillor Sarah Hacker, 2014 Queen Robyn Thick, Caroline Cook and Iszi Lawrence.

More photos can be found here and you can check out our Storify too.

See you next year!

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We’re feeling the Local Love!

Grumpy goat logoLocal businesses have been very kindly donating prizes to Friday night’s raffle.  Prizes include tickets to local events, books by local authors, kitchen equipment, beer, and even a round of golf! Plus, of course, your very own, exclusive and collectible, Alternative Queen of Reading mug…

Another opportunity to support our charities, whilst getting yourself something in return!

So buy your tickets today, and join in the fun!

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Introducing the contestants!

penelope-porchettaPenelope Porchetta:  Confessions of a serial dieter

Having supported Alt Queen for the past two years, Penelope has decided to take the plunge and join in the fun, hoping her love/hate relationship with food will strike a chord with the audience. It is for a good cause, after all!


Gog has descended from the wilds of Wales to bring her unique brand of observational folk demaGOGuery to the bright lights of Reading. Plus, yeah, she thinks it’ll be a laff. Vote for Gog!

Pearl La PeachMiss Pearl La Peach

Pearl La Peach is following in the footsteps of her burlesque teacher and mentor, Dame La Reine, who was crowned our very first Alternative Queen when she made her burlesque début in 2013.  Pearl has chosen this, the Reinettes burlesque birthday, to perform her own solo piece.  As a strong and proud women, she is very excited to join with the other contestants to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Life of Nichole2Life of Nichole

Using poetry and acapella singing, Nichole will share the story of her life.  This is the first time she’s performed her poetry for an audience, and she’s both excited and nervous to see what Reading makes of it!

IMG_2434Cassie Magnolia

It’s been seven years and fifteen days since Cassie arrived on this planet, and a year and three hours since she completed her wandering among the literal and metaphorical hills and vales and volcanic ash flows.  Cassie promises silliness, fabulousness and (hopefully!) a cool costume: “People of Reading, I love you, and it is now time to share with you my story. I’m looking forward to changing all your lives.”

**Buy your tickets today**

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Live tweeting

So, if you’re one of those who would LOVE to come on the 6th, but just simply CANNOT make the event (pah) – those lovely local people over at AltReading magazine will be live tweeting the event.

So follow @altreading for updates on the night (and don’t forget to follow us, whilst you’re there – @altqueen!)


AltReading is a not-for-profit online magazine that aims to provide people with more variety and choice: providing a space for independent and local businesses to shine. Through articles, event coverage, interviews, opinion pieces, guides and more, Alt Reading aims to show all the best Reading has to offer.  That includes us! (No false modesty here.)

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TIckets now onsale!

Shehnai_ Photo by SophieMcCurdy at sophiemccurdydotcom_web

Yep, TICKETS ARE NOW ONSALE for Alternative Queen 2015!  They’re £8 in advance, £10 on the door.

And until 14th Feb you can get your £8 ticket with no booking fee 

And even better – if you have 9 friends, why not buy a table for just £65. A bargain at only £6.50 a ticket!

Remember, all profits go to SupportU and Berkshire Women’s Aid.

So buy your tickets today and #makeithappen!

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And the 2014 winner is…

Ali Carroll as Alt Queen 2014 Robyn Thick_Credit Richard McKenzieBow down to Robyn Thick!

Yes, last night Robyn Thick was crowned Alternative Queen of Reading, with her take on the controversial hit song #blurredlines

Asking #whoselineisitanyway, Robyn’s comedy take poked fun at the posturing of the original whilst making a serious point about boundaries.



Runner up was Poetess, aka Naomi Pyle, who was commended for her entertaining tour of Reading and it’s many sights.

However, the audience loved all the contestants! Anna Jones unashamedly shared her dating disasters to much hilarity, whilst Elsie Fanackerpants played the clown (and the ukulele.)

AQ70Annabella Di Pollo baffled, amused and impressed the audience in equal measure, with her theatrical telling of the rise and fall of a child star.

AQ57Miss Feminism used comedy to deliver an entertaining lecture on the importance of feminism.  And Dr. Frank N Shelley rocked Rocky Horror with her Sweet Transvestite rendition.

10857186_10155228114770517_8155501839682372295_oAdditional entertainment was provided by Dame La Reine, celebrating her burlesque birthday with her troupe, the Reinettes, whilst Adult Dance tapped their way into the audience’s hearts.


All of which added up to a riotous night! Don’t miss out on next year – keep an eye on the website and follow our Twitter feed @altqueen for news and updates on Alternative Queen of Reading 2015!

The Alternative Queen of Reading 2014

The Alternative Queen of Reading 2014

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