Northbridge just got a little saucier. Velma Celli’s A Brief History of Drag is playing at Perth’s Fringe World Festival, wowing audiences with a sparkling cabaret show, which touches on key moments of the history of gay culture.
The UK’s Ian Stroughair is having great international success with his flamboyant alter-ego, performing at Leicester Square, New York City and alongside pop icon Anastasia.
Velma celebrates the highs and lows of the drag world, thoroughly entertaining us along the way.
Stroughair was at the Fringe Festival last year and he can’t speak highly enough of the experience.
“It was fabulous! I love Fringe World. I have so many brilliant memories and it’s really well curated.”
As with all live performance, audience reaction will often differ from city to city but Velma Celli’s show always gets a great response in Perth.
“The best thing about Perth audiences is they go to the Fringe World every year. They know what to expect and they’re really invested.”
In recent years drag shows have grown and grown, particularly as a result of the overwhelming success of television show RuPaul’s Drag Race.
This style of performance is becoming a lot more mainstream and allows artists like Stroughair to have more creativity.
“Now drag shows are not about just saying ‘look here’s a man in a dress’. It’s less taboo than it used to be. With taboos lifted, there’s more license and the point now is what’s the message and what can you showcase.”
There is a clear freedom to performing in character and it allows Stroughair to let loose with more energy and creative flair.
“When I am Velma, it’s not me and there’s something really freeing about that.”
The song selection includes David Bowie and Ru Paul classics. A Brief History of Drag also boldly delves into the catalogue of the infamous but always entertaining Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Velma Celli’s A Brief History of Dragis runs at the Pleasure Garden in Northbridge, Perth from February 7 to 10.
For more info and tickets, head to FringeWorld.com.au