'Dublin’s queer scene is alive and well': Haus of W.I.G. shares the T on their drag competition

The supreme Haus of W.I.G open up about the inspiration for their Amateur Drag competition and their love for the Dublin queer scene with Adam Hannon-Wynne.

The three main queen from the Haus of W.I.G taking a selfie

The rising stars of Haus of W.I.G sit down for a kiki about their newest Amateur Drag competition, which gives baby queens the opportunity to strut their stuff and show off their amazing talents.

Reigning ruler, Anna Queeries, opens up about handy tips for competitors on what to expect from the night and thoughts on what a phenomenal experience it was.

Everyone on the night is truly feeling the fantasy and Haus of W.I.G want to continue to share that experience with all of the wonderful drag performers, whether they are new to the scene or been in the game for a while.

This is what the Haus queens have to say:

What inspired you to start this competition?

We wanted to create a friendly competition with high production value that was open to all types of drag and might even inspire someone who doesn’t necessarily class themselves as a drag artist or performer to get up on the stage and live their fantasy. We also felt a real desire to launch a recurrent platform for amateur drag queens to benefit from enough to help penetrate the Dublin drag scene.

What is Dublin’s amateur drag scene like at the moment?

Dublin’s amateur drag scene is currently quite diverse and ever-growing. There are a few queer nights popping up that offer performance opportunities to those starting out. We understand that people can be thrown off the idea of competing to get your name out there. We try to make W.I.G. nights one big celebration of drag to take the focus off the competition. We want to create a steady platform for amateur drag queens that could lead to future opportunities, as we feel that’s missing from the scene otherwise.

Do you think Dublin has a vibrant queer scene?

Dublin’s queer scene is alive and well for sure, there are lots of queer events happening each week between The George, Mother, Street66, Panti Bar, etc. In terms of being vibrant, it is great to see amateur drag artists being given opportunities to access this scene and do their thing. There’s a certain zest attached to the diversity and creativity of new performers that does deserve a platform and feels essential to the queer scene on a whole.

What can people expect from W.I.G.? How can people apply to be a competitor?

Haus members on what to expect as an audience member: Everyone who has come to W.I.G. has said the atmosphere is really special, electric but also communal. It’s an event, from the show to the afters, and a great way for people to meet up monthly for a nice midweek show and they can either go home after or stay out and keep partying with the contestants. And the talent that has come through W.I.G. so far is astounding. Our Ruler of W.I.G. 2019 Annie Queeries for example, is an extremely exceptional queen, bringing clever conceptual comedy with clean and slick presentation.

Annie Queeries, Ruler of W.I.G. 2019 on what to expect as a competitor:

W.I.G. is an absolutely amazing experience! As a competitor, you will be given the freedom to express yourself creatively in whatever way you can imagine. The Haus of W.I.G. gals are so supportive, openhearted and lovely; whatever form your drag takes is celebrated. You will also meet and connect with so many other drag artists and thus gain a gaggle of creative new pals. Finally, you get to watch and participate in an amazing drag show that brings the house down (boots) every time!

Annie Queeries holding a floral bouquet and wearing a pastel purple dress, reigning ruler of Haus of W.I.G

How can people apply to be a competitor?

You can apply to take part in W.I.G. through the sign-up form available in the bio @hausofwig on Facebook. There are two semi-finals and one final and a hell of a lot of good times to be had!

How can people get tickets/find out more?

We sell our tickets through Eventbrite, and you can find the link to this and any upcoming shows over on our Instagram account @hausofwig. We also update our Facebook page W.I.G. Events with upcoming shows. You’ll find proof of the good times W.I.G. provides over on the insta and will be in the loop about any upcoming shows we have scheduled.

What do you think judges want to see from competitors?

Annie Queeries, Ruler of W.I.G. 2019, on what the judges want to see from competitors:

Passion! They want to see the contestants really going for it, living their best lives on stage, and giving no f*cks! Experience and polish are not the main focus, it’s all about bringing your authentic self to the stage and turning it OUT (although a sickening lewk doesn’t hurt either)!

Other Haus members on the same:

The judges are looking for overall well-rounded performers, who can entertain and connect with the audience. You can look great and have all the gigs and gaggery, but you also need to bring the audience on the journey by captivating them. And all commentary is constructive because it takes a lot to get up on a stage in drag, so the judges are super positive and recognise you for your strengths more than your weaknesses. Shoutouts to Avoca Reaction (@avocareaction), Dylan Jordan (@itsdylanjordan_) and Coco Chanel No. 5 (@cocochanel_no.5) for judging our last competition cycle. They were adored by the crowds and really added to the atmosphere. Expect to see them joined alongside Anziety (@anziety___) in this upcoming competition series.

What is the point of drag to the Haus of W.I.G.?

Annie Queeries on the point of drag to the Haus of W.I.G.:

The Haus of W.I.G. is a safe space for celebrating creative expression through the medium of drag. No rules, no restrictions. Entering the drag scene can be intimidating; with so many experienced performers already well-established, and it can be hard to find somewhere for baby draglings to take their first wobbly steps in their sky-high platforms! Haus of W.I.G. not only provide that platform, they also put on incredibly entertaining shows with amazing wit, spontaneity and sparkle. Hilarious fun while playing dress-up; what could be more fun?!

Other members on the same:

Drag for us was the inevitable answer to the undying question of what to do with our young adult lives. It’s the perfect outlet to combine all our skill sets and be creative, with our individual performances, between running the competition and our other events. We get the opportunity to work with great people from judges to contestants each show, learning the tricks of the trade all the while. We also get to create concepts, looks, mix music, write comedy, sing, dance, be businessWOMEN, organise events, produce shows, so much work but such enjoyable work. And all while looking fabulous.

Is the Dublin drag scene like a family, do more established queens help out baby drags?

There are of course performance opportunities out there for baby drag queens offered by more established queens. Our good friends Avoca and Coco have been known to take baby queens under their wings for their monthly show The Queer Cabaret. Similarly, Anziety offers performance opportunities to baby queens at her show Sis! It’s no mistake that these artists appear on our judging panel alongside the fabulous Dylan Jordan!

What can be hard though is to feel ready and confident enough to penetrate this scene and find regular performance opportunities. This furthered our incentive to set up a safe haven for our drag and extend this haven to a wider community of people through the competition. We try to set our competitors up by giving them regular performances through the competition, providing them with professional feedback through our judges, and equipping them with promotional footage from the show for them to use to their advantage.

Are there any plans for 2020?

We have our upcoming show for our next W.I.G. competition on February 19th in The Workmans Club, tickets for the event are live and available through Eventbrite.

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We will have our second semifinal on March 25 and our final on April 22, so stick those dates in your diary for what promises to be a good time!

This is set to become a monthly show so follow us on Instagram if you wanna keep in the W. I. G. loop!

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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