Fabulous Lockdown Drag!
During lockdown, Daniel Vais, Director of Culture Device, provided an update on Drag Syndrome.
Culture Device is an art organisation that produces dance, theatre, drag and all kinds of art forms. They focus specifically on promoting the work of artists with Down Syndrome. As you can imagine, the pandemic and lockdown have impacted on their normal operations!
During 2020, Drag Syndrome was meant to be in the middle of a big world tour, to the USA, South America and Europe. But that has had to be postponed until further notice. Despite the spanner in the works, the drag queens and kings have still remained fabulous!
It’s been only two years since Culture Device first launched Drag Syndrome – a project featuring high-quality, talented drag artists – all of whom have Down Syndrome. The stars of the show include Horrora Shebang, Justin Bond, Gaia Callas, Nikita Gold, Davina Star, Jonny Medals, Lady Francesca, Lady Mercury, with the newest edition to the troupe Christytina. Christytina’s first time with these showstoppers was at an online event.
Daniel told us that during lockdown the performers have kept busy, rehearsing their acts and planning how to produce online events, such as talks and dance classes. “The main thing is to keep developing artistically. We keep in touch with our fans and audiences. The near-future will see us move all our work online.”
For us, the locked-down fans, the performers have been keeping our spirits up with a variety of online entertainment. From pub quizzes, to dance shows and talks, Drag Syndrome have stepped up to the challenge of entertaining their fans virtually.
On the 2nd May, Drag Syndrome treated us to an online performance we could watch from the comfort of our living rooms during lockdown. Drag Syndrome and the Friends featured hosting and music from Queer House Party, with guest spots from musicians Indoor Goblin and Bottoms. It was important for the performers to keep up some form of income, so the performance was ticketed as a way to support the livelihoods of the artists who have had to face the fact that their planned earnings from their cancelled tour have disappeared. It is also important that is it an investment for people. The evening was a massive success and provided the artists with some income during the pandemic.
Each of the drag artists, in full costume, performed sets in their own homes, with fancying and singing aplenty. We saw the audience dancing on their sofas, with their hoovers and in their kitchens! A Drag Syndrome show is a high energy performance, highly entertaining, edgy and exciting. We sang, we danced, we laughed. The light relief and reminder of how to have fun was so important during such a difficult time.
Daniel states “We have to wait for the pandemic to pass. We will continue creating amazing work and show work around the world.”
When the world returns to some level of regular function, Drag Syndrome will be back on tour once again and we can’t wait to have the opportunity to attend a live show.