We must all hurry down to the Temperate House at Kew Gardens next month to enjoy Queer Nature After Hours, an evening of drama, music, comedy, drag acts and ‘a sprinkling of queer joy’. If, like me, you have never previously been sprinkled with queer joy, here’s your chance to find out what it’s like. There will be a performance by Trans Voices as well as a chap, or maybe not a chap, called Bi-Curious George. Here’s what George will be doing: ‘Within the splendour of the Temperate House, Bi-Curious George (he/him) will broadcast immersive parody-monologues, set to soaring classical scores. The audience becomes George’s parade of beautifully queer creatures and George becomes some of the animals too. Expect cabaret, parody songs, lip syncs, dancing, and sparkly costumes.’
Can’t wait, can you? Kew has helpfully provided attendees with the correct pronouns to employ in regard to each performer, so nobody should leave having been triggered or merely affronted. Anyway, this should all meet with the approval of the plants, 90 per cent of which are, like about half of our country’s sixth-form students, possessed of both male and female sexual organs and would most certainly object to being referred to as ‘him’ or ‘her’, were they capable of objecting to anything other than an injudicious watering regimen. In point of fact, the plants actually don’t get much of a mention in the blurb for this extravaganza, despite the fact that this is why Kew Gardens exists.
In other words it is not a celebration of the beauty tended over the years by less stupid curators, but yet another example of fashionable, top-down, performative grandstanding – a simpler description of which is ‘narcissism’.