Drag! @ Space Theatre, Adelaide (10/06/11)
When it comes to drag, I have to admit that my knowledge of the matter doesn’t extend much further than a one off viewing of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and witnessing a snippet of a show in an unexpected late night visit to The Mars Bar. Hence, I was not too sure what to expect at this show. Whether I was about to witness a performance of sparkly, eerily beautiful women, or something a little more tacky. It turned out to be a mixture of both categories. The crowd fell into three categories; 70% men, donned in Versace and silk scarves; 20% women, who I assume were looking for ways to lift their own self esteem, and 10% were those who fell in between these two genders. So, a generally typical crowd for such a show.
Produced by our own Adelaide born Amelia Airhead, Drag! promises a less than posh night out, to say the least. Not for the faint hearted, as the dresses that these men squeeze into leave nothing for the imagination. However it is thought provoking as to how they are able to wear such tight fitting dresses without displaying the typical David Bowie bulge. I was assured that this uncomfortable process is done out of love for the stage, and not to be tried at home.
I cannot imagine there being a better host for such a night, than the glamorous and gloating Portia Turbo. A self proclaimed skank, boisterous and bitchy, hilarious and hairy, Portia easily warmed the crowd up with her witty comic styling’s, and assured us that only the ugliest of men were hand-picked for this show. A few of the other high flying names were Adelaide’s own Rochelle Lamoure, and Fifi La Douche who proved their professionalism, by memorising their dance moves via YouTube, and having but one day of dress rehearsal before the big performance. They definitely pulled it off with ease and grace. Another big name was Tess Tickle (think about it), who came all the way from New Zealand and pumped the crowd up with her short orange sequined dress and her tactless potty mouth. Dallas Dellaforce, a favourite amongst those in the know, wowed the crowd with her sultry sexiness, and who is also starring in the 2012 Drag Queen calendar. Monique Kelly was a crowd favourite, as her rendition of A few of my favourite things and a hilarious drunken version of The 12 days of Xmas, brought down the house. These were to name but a few of the drag legends of Australia who make up the cast of this sassy spectacle. Viewed from the audience, these ladies definitely seem at home on the stage, but I challenge you to greet one of them off stage and you will be blown away by their larger than life appearance. Such blinding glamour is a rare sighting in little old Adelaide.
Critically acclaimed, Drag! is an attempt to move the culture of drag from the standard drunken pub setting, into something more grand and theatrical, and I have to say that they have achieved this with flying colours. A stage show filled with silken backdrops, sequins, satin, glittery balls (interpret as you wish), and feathers…so many feathers. These girls did not fail to impress, and equally shock, the wide eyed, awed audience. Unfortunately, the crowd was a tad lacklustre at times, which was unfortunate considering the amount of energy that radiated from the stage. But with a number of the performers hailing from Adelaide themselves, I’m sure there will be a return performance from these glittery gals.