Mercedes Bends
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Mercedes Bends

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About Mercedes Bends

Mercedes’ love affair with the stage began at the Northern Theatre Company, where she first experienced the exhilaration of an enamored audience. At the company, a teenage Mercedes learned to dance, appearing in a variety of productions - including Lacarq au Fauls - asserting herself as a dynamic, versatile stage presence.

Experiencing her first taste of success, Mercedes vowed to pursue a life on the stage. She continued to play the lead in several well-received plays in and around the Yorkshire area, several of them specifically created for her.

At 18, Mercedes threw her heels in her handbag and headed off for the pink lights of Manchester to strut her talent in the Gay Village. She was an instant hit and permanently became an in-demand dancer and club hostess, eventually launching her own nightclub called “Blowout.”

Following an appearance at a celebrity gay wedding (which may or may not have been Elton John’s and David Furnish’s) and the accompanying pictures in OK Magazine (looking gorgeous sipping champagne), Mercedes headed to Brighton to host the first “Pink Wedding Show, showing men how to take her up the aisle [additional description?]. In Brighton, Mercedes appeared in the saucy

Christmas gay panto, “Alternativity”, playing a cruisy gay drag queen shepherd during a two week run at the Marlborough and Salisbenny Theatre. Mercedes next dragged her alter ego “Bollywood Ben” out of the closet and ‘bindied’ him up to host, dance and perform at her new “Club Bollywood” for two years at the Joogleberry Playhouse.

Mercedes put her increasingly lauded talents to the test as a contestant in Drag Idol 2006, bringing a unique contemporary glamour to the competition, leaving the traditional Minnelli and Streisand in their respective decades of the past. After conquering the Brighton Heat, she went on to win the semi-finals and, ultimately, the final show in London where she was crowned the winner. Critics in attendance described Mercedes as the future face of drag. The same year, Mercedes showed her pride by performing as the headline act at the annual Brighton gay pride festivities, with a dance routine with her “Benders” (back-up dancers Scott and Stuart) that made Madonna seem unrehearsed!

Not content with conquering the stage and the glory of her numerous public appearances following her “Drag Idol” win, Mercedes went on the hijack the airwaves at Brighton’s Radio Reverb, appearing as a regular on the acclaimed SPACE (Southern Performance and Creative Energies) show. Her weekly appearances showcase her unleashing her irreverent wit on an unsuspecting audience as she reviews U.K. cabaret acts and anything else that falls within her line of fire.

Mercedes is a graduate of the esteemed Dave Lynn Cabaret Academy in Brighton. At the academy she met Jean Sotherby, also known as “Just Jean”, and struck up a friendship that eventually led to her current music project and club tour, “Caution!”