Photo: Tigz Rice

Posted by & filed under Arts & Entertainment, Theatre & Performance.

The UK’s queen of live vocal drag brings her latest show down under with a special stop at Sydney’s Factory Theatre. 

Serving up an evening of “true cabaret escapism”, Velma Celli’s A Brief History Of Drag takes its audience on a musical journey through the most iconic moments in drag history with plenty of heart and camp. 

“My show celebrates not only those classic ‘drag songs’ (rearranged in our own unique way) but also artists of various sexualities who pushed boundaries and teared [sic] down the walls of stereotypes,” said Celli. Think David Bowie and Lady Gaga.

“We also explore legendary and defining roles in musical theatre including Angel in Rent, Frank in The Rocky Horror Show and a tender homage to the grand high witch herself, RuPaul Charles.”

Celli is the alter ego of West End star Ian Stroughair, so expect a voice that can hit all the right notes, along with an alternative drag persona that first emerged at an afterparty with the cast of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert and La Cage Aux Folles. 

More than a roll call of jukebox hits, Celli promises a schooling in the finer points of queer history.

“Icons of drag, whether it be in film, music, popular culture or even politics have been our trailblazers for an age, the drag queens always on the front line representing us,” said Celli. “These songs are the very heartbeat and soundtrack to a message – that message being, fuck my label. I am a human, much like anyone else and my sexual preference is as important and unimportant as anyone else’s.’” (AM)

Feb 4. The Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville. $35. Tickets: www.factorytheatre.com.au

By Alannah Maher