Men have been dressing as women ever since men and women started dressing differently. Classical Chinese theatre featured drag artists, as did ancient Roman theatre. Shakespeare had to make do with male female impersonators (and that’s apparently where “drag” was invented to indicate the sensation of long skirts trailing on the floor). Another theory, more plausible is that “drag” derives from the Yiddish “trogn” which means “to wear”.
While the drag scene has always been present, it has been underground and even criminalised, but it started to flourish in the 1980s when society became more tolerant to differences.
Ceri Dupree is a drag queen. A professional female impersonator, one with over 30 years of experience in show business as a “comic in a frock”. Ceri Dupree was born Ceri Jones, a Welshman who sings (not lip syncs), banters, and tells risque and even quite crude jokes. He wears faaaabulous outfits. He is a wonderful entertainer. (Not suitable for children or people who do dislike any vulgarities whatsoever).
He takes off some of the greats of society and stage, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Tina Turner, Joan Rivers, Amy Winehouse, Edith Piaf, Dame Edna Everage and more.
His real skill, though, is his wit and his ability to engage an audience both with extraordinary perception and wonderful energy. What this means is that he only calls gorgeous audience members ugly and only suggests that well dressed people are wearing ugly home made clothes.
I love the show. It is on at the Auto and General Theatre on the Square until 20 February 2016. Do not miss this if you enjoy the genre.