It’s not often Wollongong gets a full drag show with all the bells and whistles, sequins and feathers. But there’s one coming this July.
Thirroul’s art-deco theatre, Anita’s, has been scouted by Sydney queen Prada Clutch as the perfect venue for her posse – aptly named the Priscillas.
The “All Male Revue” loosely chronicles the history of drag shows from the Les Girls cabaret in 1960’s Kings Cross, to Priscilla Queen of the Desert, to Lady Gaga and the “future of drag”.
“The ability to go out there and completely make people forget about all the things that are going on in their lives and relax and have fun, that’s what I love to do,” Prada said.
“I just love being able to transform into a glamorous, beautiful showgirl, and when I go out there my job is to make people have a good time.”
By day Prada runs a wig business, by night she is queen of the stage and spreading the love of drag to every corner of the country – many regional.
The third gig she ever did was at the now defunct Castro’s nightclub on Victoria Street in Wollongong.
“I remember telling my parents and they said to me ‘what are you doing’, because it was already a shock for them I was dressing up and everything,” she said.
“When I said I was going to Wollongong they nearly died: ‘what’s at Wollongong?’ But it was fabulous, oh God, there would have been 400 odd people. So we know they’re out there and they’re just living the normal life.”
In her nine years of getting glam for the stage, Prada was proud Australians are now very accepting of the LGBTQI+ community.
“When the Les Girls started in the ‘60s, they were the gender illusion. They were men who actually had to have the surgery to become women, that’s what you had to do back then,” Prada said.
“It’s socially accepted now - drag is such a huge thing.
“We don’t have to these days live as women, we can still live as men, and put it all on.”
Prada’s Priscillas: An all-male revue, Anita’s Theatre Thirroul on July 22. www.anitastheatrethirroul.com