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Sunday 09 April 2017

One for the boys

Posted in: Events
By - 12th February 2016

Tonight’s the night, in Auckland for one night only, for the first time ever The Little Boys Room will be taking to the stage for your viewing pleasure as part of the Auckland Pride Festival.

Prepare yourself for a night of camp and cocky cabaret with some of New Zealand’s finest and award-winning gender illusionists.

Producer and Creator, Genevieve Fowler says the show is a chance for all of the boys to get together, to show off and have a bit of a party. “There's been a big creative boom in drag in New Zealand and there have been so many new kings who've come out of the woodwork this year - myself included,” she says.

“Its unprecedented that there are enough of us nationwide to put on a dedicated drag king cabaret. It takes guts to go from humping your bedroom mirror to humping the floor of a gay bar - so we're celebrating that! We often get overlooked in both the drag and cabaret communities so the show is a chance for us to start giving that talent a dedicated space to thrive. It's a weird, wonderful and scary thing that we do and it's important to cultivate this brotherhood of kiwi kings.”

Expect to see an astounding variety of styles, from candy-pink camp dandy boys to vintage vaudevillian burlesque, butch hunks, celebrity impersonators and strippers and dorks and suave gents - it's going to be a riot.

Genevieve says drag is ‘satire’, “It's vibrant and inspiring and entertaining as all hell but, at its heart, it's taking the piss of the mainstream as hard as it possibly can.

“Gender norms are silly and artificial and deserve to be questioned and mocked. And masculinity especially is so damaging and odd and repressive. As a king, it's a very fun concept to play with.”

Some may think that the kings get a lot less attention then the over-the-top queens on the block, Genevieve says it’s a bit of a PR problem if anything and most people don’t know what a drag king is. “I don't think we're inherently less popular than the queens.” she says. “More and more we're seeing proof that kings, given the chance, are just as outlandish, entertaining, skilled and visually stunning as the queens. Queens are recognisable, they're a character people know how to categorise and interact with.”

“Another component is of course prejudice,” she says, “There's a big perception that queer women simply don't have the exuberance or plain talent to pull off what the boys do, or that masculinity is too boring to effectively parody. We're seen as dykes in our dad's suit jackets as opposed to the multidisciplinary artists. We have to work hard to get over that handicap and to get visibility in the both the queer and performing arts communities.”

Adamant that drag still has a place in society today, Genevieve says to imply otherwise is to imply that drag is outdated or unfashionable. “I think it will always be important to have performance art that questions the gender roles which are increasingly pernicious and damaging in our society.

“I think it will always be important for gender queer people and cross dressers to have a way to express themselves. And honestly I think there are always going to be people who find a man in a sequinned dress lip-syncing to Abba entertaining. Drag has is important and entertaining and fulfilling and I think it will always have social value.”

Wellington, watch out! The boys will be headed your way for Wellington Pride week March 11th!

The Little Boys Room
Dogs Bollix, 8pm

- 12th February 2016

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