It’s the most wonderful time of the year……for drag queens and fans alike. The best time to get spooky and in touch with your inner evil. Dragpunk embodies this all year round, and what better way to celebrate than with their very own show ‘Drag Me to Hell.’ The show which has a stellar lineup and with Lilith hosting, this is bound to be a night not to forget. We chat to the group to talk about Halloween, their incredible fan base and Dragula.
Dragadventures: Last time we spoke to you, you were gearing up for the Adore Delano Whatever tour, how was that for you as a group?
DragPunk: That was amazing and really changed a lot for us – in terms of what we learned on and off stage, and giving us a new sense of purpose and engagement with people! It was entirely fun which was the best part – everyone from Adore, her team and the band to Dragworld were so cool, laid back and professional!
DA: Out of all the memories made from the tour what sticks out for you as the main moment?
DragPunk: Partying in Brighton was definitely a highlight! After the show, we all just went out, and it was genuinely uplifting, carefree and had the right level of trashy fun to be down by the sea – quite literally opposite the pier at the club – enjoying music and a little drink. Just a little. Honest. It was near the near the end of the tour so felt like a personal let-your-hair-down-moment for us all.
DA: You’ve got so much fantastic support from the younger fans after the success of the Adore tour, why do you think that is?
DragPunk: That was so unexpected and so rewarding. We think the younger fans love of drag, is a love of difference and just wanting to feel a part of something, to be noticed and heard. They can’t get into LGBTQ venues or events so we showed a side to that, and drag, that was outside of the TV (ie Dragrace). It was real. We had a sense of fun but also some simple universal but needed messages about how it’s okay to be and feel different that were in our show. Amber’s performance all about gender spoke the language that they understood. We tried hard to plan our support show, our tracks, and so that effort paid off it seems!
DA: How important is it for you to include underage fans?
DragPunk: It’s super important to give them an outlet outside of Dragrace which is where most get their references from, especially to show the hugely diverse world of UK drag. Cabaret, horror, theatre, lipsync, live vocals, camp comedy, vaudeville, burlesque and so forth are fuelling the UK drag scene and filling our LGBTQ clubs and events. So getting them to see that variety, the freedom of expression, the skills and culture that goes with it really matters! It’s real, and based in the physical world, and entirely accessible – anyone can get there showing them that “ordinary” can achieve and play with art and performance is wonderful! The way it feeds communities, inclusivity, and safe spaces are super important for any LGBTQ person given how many problems we all face in society and in terms of mental health.
DA: You announced your first ever show Dragpunk: Drag Me To Hell, what can our readers expect from the show?
DragPunk: We realised we should keep it on brand – our ethos, values, and a sense of darkness. So Halloween seemed perfect! We really want to give a sense of theatre, a show that is linked up and makes sense, not least so it feels different to other events that go on. We have chosen performers for their ethos and attitude as much as their artistic and performance skills. We want people to go, see them, and love what they do on that stage! It shall have performances with moments of darkness and real horror, including some moments of lightness and comedy. At the least, we hope people can see the direction we want to take things, with an entirely relaxed and atmospheric vibe! In terms of content…..we really don’t want to give too much away!
DA: You’ve got a lot of incredible Halloween shows coming up, can you tell us about what we can look forward to?
DragPunk: A week after Drag Me To Hell we have a special version of our I’m Not Okay club night on the top floor of the Nightingale again – a party full of rock, emo, and alternative music! We’re teaming up with the legendary Emo Disco from Manchester. It’ll have pop up performances, request taken, even an emo eyeliner booth!
The weekend of Halloween itself we will be hosting at the Nightingale’s Big Saturday where there will be music, us all dancing on stage and the £1000 best dressed Halloween outfit competition. Sadly we can’t enter BUT we will be bringing LOOKS! Last year there was a Purge theme to the club which was so cool!
On the Sunday Kitty Tray and her team are bringing Abhora and Disasterina to the Village Inn Underground in Birmingham with us supporting. They’re amazing performers – the drag artists from Dragula were phenomenal when we saw them a few weeks ago at Eat Sleep Drag Repeat’s Boulet Brothers show! It shall be special and a really nice chance for everyone to meet them!
DA: The Kitty tray show is set out to be frightfully terrific, how excited are you to be performing with Dragula royalty?
DragPunk: The Dragula queens are all so down to earth and incredible performers and we highly highly recommend taking a chance to see or meet them! It’s great for Disasterina to get over here finally, and for Abhora – who is SUPER friendly – to bring back some more madness. Her performance on stilts at the Boulet Brothers live show was one of the most skilled and cool things we have seen!
DA: For you what is the best thing about Halloween and what has been your favourite Halloween to date?
DragPunk: Being able to decorate our houses and stocking up on Halloween stuff (to then use throughout the year!). Lilith and Tacky once did drag as each other and that was a moment! And a lot of people took a few seconds to clock what was going on! The hardest thing can be to do something extra for Halloween as drag is like Halloween all year around, so that’s always a fun challenge!
DA: If you had to plan the perfect Halloween evening: What films would be watched? Which songs would you put on a playlist for a spooky soirée? What look would you turn?
DragPunk: Some favourite Halloween films….. Hocus Pocus, Elvira – Mistress of the Dark, Nightmare Before Christmas (it’s both a Halloween and Christmas film!), Beetlejuice, and plenty of real classic and modern horror films like the Exorcist, Candyman, Halloween and Sinister (there are some awful ones too..)
There’s so much rock, alternative and industrial music that just suits Halloween. We will play them at I’m Not Okay and maybe some will make an appearance at Drag Me To Hell! Looks? Well, a nice a touch of the goth is always a good start!
DA: Any other projects coming up you could give us a sneak peak about?
DragPunk: There is a rather interesting British film called Death Promise that is being made that we will be taking part in which is super exciting! We have a website launching very soon as a way to blog and write our thoughts about all the issues (both serious and fun) going on in and out of drag!
Catch DragPunk at the Nightingale for their Drag Me To Hell, October 12th. Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/dragpunk-11313777924
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