Cape Town’s drag queens are back on stage again after a lockdown dimmed their spotlights for nearly two years.
Long-time friends and drag royalty, Kat Gillardi and Manila von Teez, are performing at the Bay Harbour in Hout Bay tonight and say they are amazed at how drag has evolved and become more accepted in venues other than the traditional nightclubs.
The Hout Bay Market is kicking off their 2022 entertainment programme by hosting a FREE drag show tonight on their Soundstage from 7pm.
Promoter Barry Reid has applauded the venue for bringing drag to their audience for a second time.
“It is super exciting that drag as an artform is being accepted more and more all over the city and country,” he says.
“The performing drag community was hard hit during Covid, as the very few venues available were not able to do shows, and so it was an extremely tough time.
“Through this interest shown at various venues, other than traditional nightclubs, it is super exciting times for all the performers, and you will find a drag show happening at least four to five nights a week now in Cape Town alone.
“The drag performers are also pushing hard to deliver a really professional and entertaining experience.”
Manila, 32, says she is thrilled to be performing at this particular venue again as the last time was when she made her debut there, just before the pandemic hit in March 2020.
“It was such an incredible experience. This place has such a big crowd and diversity. Taking drag to a venue where it's new is often daunting but the crowd just loved it and it definitely makes our jobs easier,” she says.
Kat, 44, adds: “We are so happy to bring a lekker vibe to the market and show people that drag is fun and with that you get to sing along, costumes and have a really great time.”