dRAG Walk 2016: “A host of talent unlike any other”

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On the penultimate night of RAG Week, Club 601 opened its doors to a host of talent unlike any other. Led by the larger-than-life Rujazzle, a parade of drag queens dominated the stage as they competed for the coveted title of Fife’s Drag Superstar, most recently won by this year’s judge Sue Phyllis. Joining her at the judges table, Joe Tantillo, Lacy Rain, Tayn O’Connor, and Benjazzle (beloved sister of Rujazzle) all offered their running commentary throughout the night as the ten queens were slowly wound down to one: this year’s winner, Mark Well-Hung.

12640427_940207132711109_8100148486847106750_oIf this year’s dRAG Walk could be described with a single word, it would be “empowering.” The opening act, which featured the queens strutting down the runway as they lip-synced to their favourite songs, was met with roaring applause as the crowd embraced the performers’ proclivity for showmanship. The enthusiasm of the audience was directly proportional to the enthusiasm of the contestants, who were not lacking for dramatic flair. When Rujazzle took to the catwalk to ask the crowd if they were prepared to be offended, she was answered by cheers. With the audience gamely aboard for an evening of raucous fun, it was nearly impossible not to feel some amount of pride in our university’s LGBTQ community.

The show itself proved to be a remarkable feat of glamour, as the drag queens hammed it up to entertain both the guests and the judges. With names such as Cruella DeBauchery, crowd favourite Gayvid Cameron, and Justin Boneher, the queens’ comedic timing was enough to keep us laughing from the first round to the last. Over the course of the two hour show, we saw elaborate walks, brain-teasing questions-and-answers, and enough costumes to reference even the most obscure of subcultures (including a red St Andrean gown). Although the evening’s entertainment did not pause even for a moment, standing for two hours proved to be slightly tiring for many guests, who lamented the lack of chairs at this year’s show. Beyond this minor quibble, however, the night was a technical masterpiece.

 

12670056_940209149377574_8465540125572391542_nRightfully back by popular demand, the third iteration of dRAG Walk gave us all the expected amusements while managing to include more than enough surprise twists. Rujazzle’s charisma and her fellow queens’ charm filled the small venue, captivating first the show attendees and later the afterparty guests as Club 601 gave way to a club night to rival London’s finest drag scene. Dancing amongst the wildly dressed crowd in the wake of the show, one could not help but embrace the event’s unifying nature. More than just a show, dRAG Walk is a proclamation of pride, a statement of self that encourages everyone, flamboyant or not, to ignore whatever restrictions society may place on us. dRAG Walk is a much-needed night in St Andrews, and I look forward to attending next year.

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