Interview: Maya McCoy from Her Majesty’s Secret Circus, ‘At Glastonbury it is full-on arts immersion’

Photo: Luke Awtry Photography

Her Majesty’s Secret Circus is Brent McCoy and Maya McCoy and they have been covertly traveling the globe with their unique brand of comic espionage since 2012. They’ve appeared in festivals, fairs, cruise ships, and theaters in more than a dozen countries. They’ve won People’s Choice Awards at premiere street theater festivals, appeared on NBC’s “The Gong Show”, where Mike Myers called them “a Class Act”, and charmed thousands of people with their original, character-driven performances.

They’ve been thrilling audiences at this weekend’s Glastonbury Festival. Ahead of the festival we heard from Agent Butterfly about what it’s like to be back at the festival.

Q&A with Maya aka Agent Butterfly

How does it feel to be performing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival?

I am thrilled to be returning to Glastonbury! I performed at the festival one other time (in 2017) and had a great time. But the first time, there is so much to learn and I was pretty overwhelmed by it all. Looking forward to a return where I know my way around and can enjoy every bit of it.

What can you tell us about Her Majesty’s Secret Circus?

This is a spy-fi comedy show with faux British accents and the world’s only bow and plunger arrow. This show has been performed in a dozen countries all over the world since 2011.

What can festival-goers expect from the shows?

Agents Butterfly and Honeymoon on a mission which includes a giant one-wheeled stealth cycle, fire juggling, and plunger archery.

Does playing to a festival audience change how you approach your shows?

Definitely. Festival shows are a whole lot more relaxed and way more playful. At Glastonbury it is full-on arts immersion. We’re all camping together and watching back to back shows in this magical ephemeral space—it feels really different to performing in a theater where there is a physical separation with the audience and everyone goes home to their own spaces.

Will you be checking out any other acts across the weekend?

Yes! That is a big reason for me to go. I especially love all the roving acts in Theatre and Circus. I want to see Mat Ricardo who is performing at Glastonbury for the first time. I want to wonder around and be amazed by small comedy or variety shows that I’ve just happened upon. And, of course, I plan to see a ton of music.

Her Majesty’s Secret Circus are at Glastonbury Festival 2023