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Freelance writer Warrick Glynn writes…
When the four drag queens of Drags Aloud came on stage with their trowelled-on Max Factor and their plus-sized shoes (and matching plus-sized hands) I thought, here we go, it’s Dad in a frock at the footy club’s ‘Do a turn night’.
Unlike Dad in a frock these four actually have talent. They know drag in the old school sense; that is they know how to make it fun and they don’t think they actually ARE Celine Dion or Lady GaGa like some of the newbies around town.
There are classic gags aplenty and these guys don’t shy away from a fart joke or three! Benny Hill would blush at the tacky innuendo, the humorously contorted faces and the number of times ‘birds’ were flipped at the audience. A nod to the great Benny Hill was offered in a high-heeled chase around the Spiegel tent. You can guess which music they used!
In the well-worn style of Pokies in the 80’s and LeGore’s backyard in the 90’s there were sequins, feathers, beads, lashes, spandex and strips of gaffer tape to hold in some of the less lady-like bits. Over the top moments of scenery chewing excess like Liza Minelli’s crazed Bob Fosse histrionics were counterbalanced with the minimalist brilliance of the ‘Mahna Mahna’ song from the Muppets. This was a truly great piece of comedy, delivered deadpan in a costume that was part giant blue jellybean – part Furby doll. I think a new genre has been created in this show with this particular piece, it’s kind of Noh-Drag.
Most of the drag icons were given a go onstage. Judy Garland was there, along with Cher, Julie Andrews and even Sharon Stone. Abba was given a guernsey as were characters from Titanic, Mary Poppins and Cats. The fur ball coughing alone is worth the price of admission!
Costume changes were masked with some amateurish videos but it somehow worked. Since when were drag show videos up for Oscars anyway? A drag video without a Hills hoist or venetian blinds in the background is just pretentious!
I adored this show. If you haven’t seen good, fun drag in years then get yourself down to this pageant and you’ll be treated to the stuff you love as well as something new, fresh and delightfully kooky.