Nicola Simonetti, our Culture Editor, attended Drag Walk 2016, and is excited to share his experience with us. Read and have an insight into the main event of RAG Week!
If Ru Paul’s Drag Race is a must that everybody should —at least— know about, Drag Walk is no exception. Running for the third year in a row, Drag Walk has made the every day diversity of St Andrews’s students shine once again. The event, which managed to raise more than £1,700 for the Scottish Trans Alliance, took place in the newly re-designed Club 601 on February 6, 2016. Hosted by St Andrews’s very own Rujazzle, the night included quite a few guests from the nation’s leading drag talent.
It is no exaggeration to say that ten new fierce queens (Nellie Mandela, Ruby Boobsday, Venus Haram, Purity Rang, Cono, Miss Karnival Rain, Cruella DeBauchery, Gayvid Cameron, Justin Boneher, Mark Well-Hung) stole the spotlight on Friday night, performing at the best of their abilities to gain the title of Fife’s new drag superstar. Recording an elimination of two queens each round, every contestant had to prove their extravaganza to shine above the other nine. Going as far as making impromptu costumes after some of the LGBTQ community’s most popular divas, the contestants had to parade on a runway, expressly set up in the middle of the room. The panel of judges, made up of Joe Tantillo, last year winner Sue Phyllis, Taryn O’Connor, Benjazzle and Lacy Rain surely had a hard time deciding the new winner of the Bubble due to each queen’s bravura. Rujazzle must be mentioned for her mastery in leading the show, which was void of idle time.
After the success of Cycle 2, there was great expectation for this year’s show, yet Drag Walk did not let us down. Although the absence of seats constituted a setback if compared to Drag Walk 2015, the organisation of the event was on point and the closeness between the audience and the show promoted the enthusiasm of many. The winner Mark Well-Hung (aka Emalani Artiss), sure knew how to slay, and he well deserved the title of new king of the Bubble — although Gayvid Cameron and Justin Boneher stood out for their incredible interpretations as well.
To light up the night some guest appearances must be listed; Mutha Superior and Bella Mead surely knew how to move and entertain the viewers at the same time (n.b. not enough stress can be put on Mutha Superior’s performance in a St Andrews traditional red gown). More fierce queens from Glasgow (Lacy Rain, Perry Cyazine, October Fist + Frans Gender) filled the breaks during the night, representing the main attraction at the afterparty: goddesses and humans dancing together in one of the best nights of RAG week. Lip-syncing for one’s life has never been funnier in the Bubble, and I am not talking just of the show. The afterparty lasted until 2am as a pretty excited crowd danced until the morning broke (because who says that the party ends when the Union shuts?). People not only seemed to have fun between one purple Pablo and a Tequila shot, but some of them went as far as to call the night ‘memorable’.
Drag Walk contestants demonstrated to the newbies what doing drag is all about, and, from the positive response of the audience, they seem to have widely succeeded. The cheap price of the tickets (£7.50 for event + afterparty) made the event accessible to everybody, and it was all for charity! If you were there, I am sure you know what I am talking about, and if you were not, you missed out on one of the greatest nights of your life. In regards to what Ru Paul would say, drag queens obviously know how to love themselves, and hopefully they sent out a strong message to all the people out there. Because if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell can you love somebody else?
Can I get an amen?
Featured images courtesy of Saints LGBT+