About Me - Chris D Bray

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Chris has worked in show business since 1977. Having cut his teeth as a Blue Coat in Pontins (Telling staff he was older than he was) he realised he wanted to be in the business that is show. After gaining his knowledge he began working on the fun pub circuit where he first introduced to drag.. He has extensive experience in the area of female impersonation and has performed in most of the major Fun Pubs in the North of England from their creation in 1982, until their demise in the early 1990s. Indeed, he opened many of these venues. His skill at turning a new, unknown venue into an established one in very little time saw him approached by business owners on several occasions. The fun club phenonomen brought club goers both straight and gay into the dame venue. Hi energy music, party games and bar staff dancing on the bar with tambourines were an instant hit. These venues caught the established cabaret club owners off guard. Star names were invited to perform and they did so with relish. The informal atmosphere of the venues appealed to the Northern clientele.One such venue, Hery Africa's in Wigan held over a thousand people. Seven nights a week the venues were packed. Chris saw that the writing was on the wall for these venues however in the late eighties and early nineties. He had witnessed management asking for door charges to be introduced and extended hours. Chris had fought for the punters pleading "leave the audiences wanting more - don't try to compete with night clubs" They didn't heed his advice.
Chris has also worked in cabaret shows, pantomime and television. His own show headlined in Spain for a number of years, not only did he enjoy the experience but it taught him near fluent Spanish. Chris attended Drama school in Liverpool, and trained in theatre studies with and emphasis in performance. Chris still classes himself as an actor, who happens to have a background in cabaret;  therefore the female character he portrays is a well rounded individual stock character with a background, a family history, and an identity.
The late 1990s saw Chris as a regular performer in Manchester’s Gay Village. He has had the opportunity to work in most of the main venues. He opened both the Hollywood Show bar and the Manhattan Show bar, taking pride at being the original D.J. for the first year of trading in both these illustrious venues. He recently remerged in the Village and is starring at the Centre Stage every Saturday night. The show was an instant hit.

March 1999 saw Chris sucessfully audition for the world famous 'Funny Girls' in Blackpool. He was then offered a residency as the Monday night D.J. and Compere. He was also the second D.J. and Compere in the main Funny Girls show. The venue featured him starring on a regular basis, not only as the D.J.& Compere, but also in many of the stage ensemble cabaret show production numbers.

In September of 1999, Chris was invited to work at the 'Flying Handbag' in Blackpool - This Gay Fun Pub is owned by the same company behind 'Funny Girls' –  His time in the "Handbag" saw him headline his own regular show for the first time in Blackpool. He worked as he main DJ and compere. It was during this period that Chris was to host Blackpool auditions of Blackpool Drag Queen of the Year. Working in a major seaside resort enabled him to reach a wider audience  with visitors from all over the UK. This in turn, established him as a name on the UK gay scene. He was able to show his diversity by hosting the venue's own special evenings with shows such as "Play Your Cards Shite" and "Wankety Wank" all being parodied to great effect. He brought crowds who also revelled in taking part in many traditional fun pub games. It is noteworthy that on partucular Sunday Chris saw record numbers enter the venue for a Sunday afternoon. His regular Saturday night spot was a huge sucess, with people often having to queue to get nto the venue.

Later in 1999 Chris was asked to compere a two-hour set, on the main stage at the Manchester Mardi Gras, on the Bank holiday Saturday afternoon. On that occasion he played to approximately 3000 people. He was also asked to perform at the Lavender Ball, at the same event alongside the legendary Beverley Sisters! The show was so much of a hit that he was asked to perform at this event the following year.

2001 Chris hit the World Wide Web when he had a web site designed and created for his stage character; it has had over a million unique hits, to date. The following year Chris  was considered  a big enough name to take part in the Weakest Link Drag queen special. Against fierce competition from other names Chris was selected to be the standy contestant. Although not used, he was flattered to be asked to take part in the show. 2003, brought further interest when  he was asked to write a monthly column, for the Manchester based magazine, "Out Northwest" This column is based on his stage character, and is in the same vain as his stage performance.

In 2004, he was invited to compere again, at the Manchester Mardi Gras, (now renamed 'Manchester Pride'). He compered for the whole of Bank holiday Monday, from 2:00 pm until 8:00pm, playing to over 4000 people. In October 2004 he left his residences in Blackpool to return to the cabaret circuit. This saw his work taking him to the Isle Of Man, Jersey, Leeds, Manchester, and several towns and cities in the UK. It was during his time on the Isle of Man that Chris was offered a regular weekend radio spot. He flew from Blackpool every weekend to take part in the radio show beofre going on to the Island's most popular fun pub before flying home each Sunday.   In bewteen doing all of this this he found time to take himself through a University Degree Course which qulaified him unlimately to be a Hich School Teacher.
With all this under his belt it was no surprise that in 2006 he was recruited to appear in an episode of the ratings smash soap "Emmerdale" he appeared in drag in the show and was praised in the press.

With the success of Emmerdale to his credit, he was thrilled to be asked onto more TV shows as both supporting artiste and as a credited actor. More recently Chris appeared alongside Sue Nicholls in ITV's number one show "Coronation Street" as well as supporting Robson Green in a Christmas comedy for ITV.
Chris' own unique style has since brought him back to Blackpool, or, as he fondly calls it "La Pool En Noir" . Much of the 2000s and 2010s saw him as the main star at  'KAOS' a club in the town centre. He worked Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the venue and two evenings a week (Tuesday and Thursday).
Chris received a major boost when starred in a major Pantomime in Lytham at the Pavillion theatre in 2013/14 where he stole the show perfoming as Widow Twanky in the much loved "Alladin". His current residency in Blackpool at a new venue in the town centre is 'R Bar' where he appeared with is firebrand comedy, fun, music and parodies of TV quiz shows. He left his audiences wanting more as he quit R-BAR - They didn't have to wait long as he began Fridays and Sundays at the Imperial on Talbot Road, Blackpolol. The venue is much larger and gives him the freedom to choose how he works. Free of restrictions he can concentrate on making his nights at the Imperial, THE place to be. He was also able to return to the Centre Stage in Manchester's World famous Gay Village, a venue he has always adored. In 2018 he will star in a Summer Pantomime at Blackpool's North Pier. He also has taken time out of performing to teach a drag module and drama at two seperate universities. He took part in a Symponiam at London where he spoke in front of 300 experts and contemporaries. He has just finished a chapter to be published later this year on the subject of drag and there are plans for him to take part in a celebration of the craft on a Radio 4 broadcast later this year. He is now working on his Phd which he hopes to complete in the next few years.
Chris continues to perform in both Gay and Straight venues throughout the UK. With such an impressive track record why not use Chris for your next fucntion?
To contact him for booking equiries please use the booking page here
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