A Brief History of Drag

Drag has never been more mainstream, popular or in the public eye. Queens are on our screens, creating entrepreneurial empires and making what was once subversive counterculture into multi million hit TV shows. Colloquialisms and expressions that once could only be heard in the heady haze of a drag bar have made it into common parlance.  Gender bent theatre  productions or the featuring of drag queens and drag acts in film and television is on the rise. It appears that drag as an art form and medium for gender expression, play and politics is finding a place within our current cultural spaces and often finding a means of being capitalised upon. The history of drag and range of performances, however, is far more rich than the slew of recent depictions of drag would have us believe and began largely as a reaction to systemic oppressions of gender and sexuality. Join us as we explore the history of cross-dressing, drag and performance intent on queering gender expression. We will delve into the vast array of genres in which drag has appeared including theatre and opera, investigate drag kings, queens, things, bio queens and creature drag and discuss the future of the art form given its meteoric rise.

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Jordana Belaiche is a writer, director and dramaturg based in London. Her work centres on class and gender, she has a love of folklore, witchcraft and the occult and is well versed in all things uncanny. She is the author of two full length plays and several short stories. Find more of her projects and work through IG: @chronicallyuntimely

Jordana Belaiche
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