Royal Court’s Festive Season a Total Drag???Date: 22 October 2008
Not to be outdone by recent news that Aussie hit musical Priscilla is transferring to the West End early next year (See News, 16 Sep 2008), the Royal Court is hosting its own “drag extravaganza”, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Wig Out!, from 28 November 2008 (previews from 20 November) to 10 January 2009.
To mark the occasion, the Court has announced a series of “special themed events” to ensure that the festive season passes with more than its usual quota of glitter and baubles. These events include, on 12 December, a one-off screening of the cult drag documentary Paris is Burning in the main auditorium, as well as an exclusive new year’s eve party hosted by glam pop singer Boogaloo Stu (who will be familiar to those who watched this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and pressed their red buttons).
For Wig Out!, the Court’s Downstairs auditorium will be transformed, by designer Ultz, into the House of Light, a “hyper-glamorous and uber-competitive” drag queen refuge where the residents are primping and preening for a catwalk showdown. 26-year-old American writer Tarell Alvin McCraney is currently represented in the capital by two plays running at the Young Vic - In the Red and Brown Water and The Brothers Size, which was nominated for an Olivier Award when it ran at the same venue last year.
Other events programmed to run alongside Wig Out! include a series of interviews with iconoclastic performer Bette Bourne, conducted by playwright Mark Ravenhill (10, 15, 17 December). And on January 4, a special fundraising night in aid of the Royal Court's Young Writers festival will be held, with ticket-holders enjoying a pre-show champagne reception, a “surprise special guest” on-stage appearance, and post-show cast party.