After having to postpone last April as the country went into lockdown, MTU Cork LGBT Society will finally be launching the ‘Dragging Up The Past’ documentary on Friday, February 12. The documentary which highlights the colourful history of drag in Cork using interviews and archival footage will be launched online with a virtual Q&A session featuring the filmmakers, and some of the documentaries drag stars.
The Queen of Ireland Panti Bliss will join our Q&A to discuss this rich history and her involvement through the Alternative Miss Ireland drag pageant. Also joining the panel will be West-End and Broadway Makeup and Wig designer, close friend, makeup artist and assistant to Corks own Danny La Rue, Richard Guy Mawbey.
The Dragging Up The Past: Cork Drag Timeline was created as a collaboration between MTU Cork LGBT Society and the Gay Project, for Culture Night 2018. Following the success of the event, the project has been expanded with support and funding from MTU Cork Arts Office and Chambers Bar, to have the exhibition professionally printed on pop-up banners, and to create a short documentary.
The pop-up exhibition has since been displayed as part of various events in venues such as Cork City Hall, National University of Ireland Galway and in Coláiste Eamonn Rís as part of BeLonG To Stand Up Week 2019.
Directed by former CIT Digital Media student Robin Guiton and produced by MTU Cork LGBT* Society, filming for the Dragging Up The Past documentary began in January 2020. The documentary features interviews with Corks beloved queens, Fabula Di Beaumarchais, Kitty Cartier, Twiggy Moondust, Candy Warhol, Letycha Le’Synn, Mia Gold, Nettles, Liam Bee, Dakota Mode, Will A.Blige, Alternative Miss Cork Director Eddie Kay, Irelands youngest drag queen Karma O’Hara, and will also feature information and footage about Corks own Danny La Rue.
Born in Cork in 1927, La Rue went on to become one of the highest-paid performers on British television in the 1960s and ’70s and was also awarded an OBE from the Queen in 2002. La Rue returned to Cork in 1984 when he sold out the Cork Opera House for a number of shows, and again in February 2005 for another sold-out series of shows ‘Danny Comes Home’ in the Everyman Theatre.
Speaking of the documentary, Project Coordinator Konrad Im said: “We were absolutely gutted having to postpone the launch which was planned for April last year, but the lockdown afforded us a chance to put more work into the footage and to record more interviews.
“LGBT+ history has been something that was hidden in the shadows or completely erased in the past, so it’s important for projects like this and the fantastic Cork LGBT Archive to be supported. We’re excited to finally release the documentary to the public and proud to be in a position to record the history of drag in Cork for future generations”.
Tickets for the documentary launch and Q&A session are available for free on Eventbrite. While the event is free, it had always planned to raise funds for the Gay Project who inspired this project at the beginning.
However, due to the COVID-19 safe format it now has to take, anyone in a position to, are kindly invited to donate a few euro to the Gay Project by going to gayproject.ie. Any support is appreciated towards helping the Gay Project in continuing their fantastic work.
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