Article Title:Plenty to confess
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:17th January 2011 - 12:12 pm
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Story ID:9801
Text:Ricky Beirao AKA Rhubarb Rouge is on a mission to re-inject fun into drag, one costume change at a time. His show Confessions of a Drag Queen will be onstage at The Basement in Auckland this month, after debuting at BATS in Wellington in 2009. Beirao is a native of Brazil who created Confessions to tell his life story on stage, from his homeland, to being a non-English speaking gay kid at a Hutt Valley school, to finding a place in the drag world. Confessions has undergone recent reworking since its debut. Director William Donaldson says the biggest changes are looking at where the story is going. He says in the previous season in Wellington people came away from the show with a good feeling, “but the storyline itself was going back and forwards and mishing and mashing if you like. So we just kind of peeled it all back and wanted the true essence of the story, which for us is the focus of the development of a person from a young boy into the drag community. What the consequences of that are, when he decides to take on that persona.” It's been a steep learning curve for the cast and crew, having things changed at the last minute. However both agree the show is much smoother now. “That's what we originally wanted when we wanted to take it to Auckland,” Beirao says. “We wanted to workshop the play more and as we said in the proposal, make it bigger and better and gayer. And that's why we BATS wanted us to come back – by popular demand, but also to see how we'd grown the show.” The return to BATS in March is part of the arts and culture aspect of the Wellington Outgames and Beirao says with the mass of GLBT people expected to descend on Wellington, the show should sell well. In fact, tickets are already being snapped up. A major difference with the show is that Beirao will sing live, something not often seen in the lip-sync heavy drag world. The costumes will of course be prolific (asking exactly how many costumes there were got the crew into a panic), outrageous and colourful. There are two other performers in the show, known as The Rougettes, who back Beirao's lead performance up. The number one priority with Confessions of a Drag Queen, right from the beginning, has been having fun. “In order for us to have a show that is fun for the audience we need to have a rehearsal room that kind of develops that culture,” Donaldson says. “And that's why as the producer I chose the team to ensure we have the right people working together,” says Beirao. “We laugh all the time at the rehearsals to be honest. We go ‘oh we can't wait to do this cause the audience is going to crack up'.” He is someone who does drag because he enjoys the fun of performing and the theatrical nature of it. Both are intrigued about bringing the show to Auckland and seeing how the audiences react, both the straight theatre-goers intrigued by a bit of drag - and the GLBT community. Donaldson remembers a very strong drag community in Auckland, which seems to have diminished over the years. “There's been a lot of stuff that's gone on in that community which means it's a very sheltered community and people aren't getting exposed to it, or being part of the fun of that drag world anymore. Which is what this show is about – bringing back the fun of what that world can be. And including the audience in that fun and variety.” The pair laugh at the suggestion that they could do an entire follow-up show based on Auckland's most recent drag dramas, which prompts Beirao to hint that perhaps some of the spat may have been incorporated in the show already. “Who knows. You guys will just have to come and see,” he says. Confessions of a Drag Queen, The Basement, Auckland 26 January 2011 – 29 January 2011 Restrictions: All Ages Ticket Information: Adult: $20.00 Student: $16.00 Senior: $18.00 Concession: $18.00 Buy Tickets – 0508 iTICKET Booking fees may apply   Jacqui Stanford - 17th January 2011    
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