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Drag Kings explore the male psyche and physique

Tue 3 Sep 2002 In: Events

You've seen drag queens galore. What gay event would be complete without big hair, big tits and fluffed lip-synch lyrics. But Drag Kings? In fact you most surely have seen the New Zealand's most visible drag kings on TV. The Topp Twins' aggressively masculine characters Ken and Ken are the flipside of Pollyfilla and Kornisha and they represent a growing trend among lesbian performers to take on the personas of pseudo-men for a bit of fun and sly comment.  "For someone who often gets mistaken by busy dairy owners for a bloke," says Jac Lynch, one of the Wellington-based Drag Kings troupe, "it's been interesting to work on that distinction between being myself and acting as a man." Lynch says she enjoys working on characters where "it's more than just a case of packing fake dicks and painting on whiskers. As well as attitude, the difference between men and women in terms of bone structure means that I have to actively think about how I need to adjust my walk and stance to portray a man." Coming to terms with male anatomy is probably the last thing on a lesbian's mind, yet the Drag Kings have had to come to terms with the dankly bits. "We've had workshops on characterisation, including one with a guy who showed us how men have to sit so they don't squash their balls... and there I was thinking they were being space hogs," laughs Lynch. She says the philosophies involved in women portraying men onstage range from enjoying 'passing' as a man and "figuring out what facial hair suits me most" through to playing with gender stereotypes and identity.  Drag Kings in the Flesh hits Auckland this weekend at Flesh in O'Connel Street with performers including Cathie Sheat of Pulp Comedy fame, Andrea Harness, Carla Morris, Ceridwyn Roberts, Debbie Eastwood, Jac Lynch, Jan Logie, Judith Byrne, Kyro Selket, Toni Reagan and Val Little. "What we do is a sexy cabaret that blasts a queer hormonal explosion of music, dance and comedy at the audience," says Roberts. She describes the show as a tongue-in-cheek exploration of gender bending frivolity which showcases lip-synched performance, stand-up comedy, boy-band tributes, live singing and a takeoff of businessmen in action. "The idea behind The Drag Kings is not to be just a lip-synch-n-fabulosity-fest but to provide a professional queer show that is fun and challenging for performers and the audience." - 3rd September 2002    


First published: Tuesday, 3rd September 2002 - 12:00pm

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