THE DRAG KINGS in Pisstakes - It's Reigning Men

Downstage Theatre, Wellington

11/05/2006 - 13/05/2006

ODDFELLOWS Comedy Festival

Production Details

Produced and performed by Andy Harness, Cathie Sheat, Jac Lynch, Margaret Tolland, Sam McBeth, Toni Regan, Val Little

Lock up your daughters and frock up your sons, The Drag Kings are back with a brand new spanking show. There won’t be a dry seat in the house as the Kings take the piss out of religion, rugby and even rubber duckies. Comedy, music and dance for anyone who is a man or a woman or thinking of becoming one.

Theatre , Comedy ,

1hr 20mins, no interval

Pansy Pope Pashes Pastor

Review by John Smythe 11th May 2006

Oh no, that’s right, Brian Tamaki’s made himself a bishop now. ‘Destiny: The Musical’ offers one of many memorable moments in the Drag Kings’ new show, Pisstakes: It’s Reigning Men at Downstage. For three nights only, it’s the curtain-raiser to the Wellington season of the ODDFELLOWS Comedy Festival, which officially kicks off next week (see

Seven women – Andy Harness, Cathie Sheat, Jac Lynch, Margaret Tolland, Sam McBeth, Toni Regan, Val Little – deliver 20 sketches and an encore in 80-odd minutes. Unsurprisingly some bits work better than others.

To get the quibbles over first, much is mimed to pre-recorded music and the spread of overhead speakers through the auditorium makes those numbers strangely disembodied. The sound system also makes the few radio-miked spoken bits sound recorded and as if they come from outer space too.

And the regular scene breaks in silent semi-darkness, while props are re-set, does nothing for the structure and momentum of the show. Whatever happened to an MC doing links, or even musical bridges? A bit of creative ingenuity is needed here.

High points for me included:

Jac and Toni’s ‘Boys in the Wood’, where neck-braced Anus, who broke his back foolin’ with sheep, has to put up with Jack-off camping up the camp. Cathie, Sam, Toni and Val do a nice send-up of the Backstreet (Backdoor) Boys, asking which is gay.

Andy and Marg do delicious damage to the Playschool format with ‘Silly Billys’. Val mimes marvellously to Loudon Wainwright III’s ‘I Wish I Was A Lesbian’, while Andy and Cathie are nun-too-subtle in giving their fingers to the Catholic church’s disapproval of self-pleasuring in ‘Sisters are doing it’ – to themselves.

But it’s Brian Tamaki who gets hit with the strongest satire as he struts his dollar-sign medallion stuff in front of video images of himself juxtaposed with footage of Hitler and DC slogans like Diversity is Divisive. Fair comment. When a frolicking gold-mitred, Technicolor Dream-cloaked Pope sets out to liberate Brian’s latent desires, I can’t help thinking the Drag Kings may be hoping to provoke some free publicity from a Courtenay Place protest vigil.

Andy returns for a formidable B&D medley then, cleverly pre-recorded as an AB-fan couch potato, watches the others make like All Blacks to her mimed ‘I Like the Way You Move’. Stirring stuff, not to mention spitting and scratching.

When the opening night audience demanded an encore, we got ‘We Will Rock You’ – and mostly they do.


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