Performance artist Allan Taylor brings his show The King Of Beauty to Brighton’s Marlborough Theatre on April 23 for a night set around the concept of consumption.
As Allan explains, he will eat lipstick to parody the futility of consumer culture, as well as to become beautiful on the inside.
The King of Beauty has been beguiling audiences around Europe with its dark humour and sinister commentary of how vanity can destroy the true beauty we have to give to the world.
From singing the blues to becoming Miss America, the King of Beauty is ready to invite you to his final meal.
“The first thing people ask me is ‘is it real make-up?’”, Allan says. “Well, yes, it certainly is real. If you think about it, women lick their lips every day and probably ingest so much make-up over the course of their life, I don’t really see the difference in having my share over the course of a few performances.”
The audience are invited to sit alongside Allan at a huge banquet table as he ingests the cosmetics. The performance is based around the character of the King, who has used so much make-up over the course of his life, he can’t tell what is real and what is fake anymore. In a final act of desperation, he begins to eat it to try and fill the emptiness that has consumed him for so long.
“I see it as an allegory for modern life,” Allan says. “Celebrity, self-obsession and vanity are ultimately hollow concepts and we try to fill that gap with more and more products. We’re so caught up in consumer culture that we have this warped image of perfection and what is beautiful. The whole point about this performance is that beauty lies in what we have to give to the world and not what we take from it by manufacturing, consuming and buying.”
Allan will be performing as part of the Marlborough Theatre’s Pink Fringe, an initiative that aims to promote “innovative queer theatre-makers and contemporary live artists in Brighton”.
Last October, Allan was selected from 450 worldwide applications as one of four emerging British artists to represent the UK in the inaugural Stockholm Fringe Festival.