Call it the RuPaul effect, but suddenly drag seems to be everywhere. From ads for insurance to Christmas carols, drag queens and shows seem to be ubiquitous. But there's a lot more to drag than men in wigs lip-syncing to Mariah Carey (though there is certainly a market for that!) – drag kings, cabaret performances and gender-neutral or gender non-binary drag are also becoming popular.
Here are where you will find the best drag shows in Melbourne.
This is not your grandma’s bingo. On a Wednesday night Mollie’s turns into Melbourne’s gayest bingo hall, with drag queens pulling the balls and making the calls. Your hostess Jessica James and special guests will have you in stitches as they engage with the crowd and poke fun at each other. Get a group together and enjoy a $12 parma and the chance to win jugs of beer or the $100 cash prize.
The wild ones come out at night at Honcho. Each Thursday
night, Honcho Disko puts on a show of weird-and-wonderful alternative drag with special guests from around Melbourne
Expect a mix of lip-syncing, cabaret, live singing, performance art, circus – anything and everything is the go
at Honcho. Put on your most outrageous outfit (you won’t be the most outlandishly dressed no matter what you wear), see
some unusual acts, and dance the night away.
At Babydrag each week, five different new drag acts perform their little hearts out to the most appreciative audience.
The line-up is always different, with a mix of kings, queens and bio queens. Between introducing each act and ribbing members of the audience, hostess Missy La Minx leads raunchy games for the chance to win a jug of beer.
The crowd favourite king or queen then performs downstairs at Sircuit, along with the queens of Hey Henny.
The moment you enter Vau d’vile it feels like you are welcomed into Bumpa Love’s big family. On Friday and Saturday nights Vau d’vile offers a full three-course dinner and drag show, the only one of its kind in Melbourne. Perfect for birthdays, hen’s nights, and other big celebrations, the $79 price tag gives you the full experience – the queens serve dinner and then serve up some fierce drag on stage. Bumpa’s infectious energy shines as she leads her gorgeous vixens in a feather-filled show of choreographed group numbers, vibrant solos and comedy routines. Stick around for the late shows in the front bar, House of Love, where a diverse coterie of queens, kings, bio queens and all sorts performs late into the night. On Friday nights catch Sexy Galexy hosting Royale, with some of Melbourne’s best kings (and more), and Saturday nights showcase the freshest drag around.
Fellas in Frocks boasts some of Melbourne’s funniest comedy
queens. With a rotating roster featuring the likes of Leasa Mann, Karen from Finance, Lexi Gaga and Polly Filla, plus special guests and themed nights, there’s always a different act to see.
Between choreographed numbers and comedy lip-syncs
the queens get into the crowd and interact, pulling audience
members up on stage to participate in challenges and games for free drinks. Grab a table in the cosy VIP cabaret seating, or settle into a standing-room spot and enjoy an evening of laughs.
The Saturday Night Project provides some good old classic drag – men in wigs lip-syncing to ’80s power ballads and
cracking jokes at each other’s expense.
Hosted by Abril La Trene and Alannah Faye Magick, the
performances showcase four queens over three shows in
a wonderfully welcoming space.
As a bonus, if you’re feeling fabulous, turn up in full drag and score yourself a free drink from the bar.
The best way to round out the week is to get your money’s worth in $30 bottomless Mimosas at Mollie’s and see some of the freshest drag stars. It kicks off in the afternoon from 3pm
with camp music and drink specials, then the show starts at 5pm(ish).
The hilarious Holi Dae Knight hosts a jam-packed show of 12 up-and-coming drag stars, who battle it out for cash prizes.
After the show, head downstairs to Sircuit, where Lexi Gaga and her gorgeous gogo guys the Boys of Summer dance on into the night.