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Universal

  • Gay and lesbian
  • Darlinghurst
  1. Drag queen performers on stage surrounded by floating dollar bills
    Photograph: Universal/Ann-Marie Calihanna
  2. Image of venue with people sitting at tables, coloured lighting.
    Photograph: Supplied/Universal/Bruno Lozich
  3. Three drag queens perform in brightly coloured dresses, one queen looks down at the audience with a saucy expression
    Photograph: Supplied/Universal/Bruno Lozich
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Time Out Says

There's always dinner, drinks and drag on the menu at this versatile Oxford Street venue

This hot spot on the 'Pink Mile' of Sydney's LGBTQI+ nightlife district has nicely cultivated itself into an inclusive hub where you can drink cocktails with rubber ducks in them and see drag performances five nights a week, from lively amateur performers to the matriach queens. The upstairs night club, once known as the Midnight Shift, was revamped and relaunched as the Shift Club in 2015 and then taken over and re-relaunched under Universal in September 2018.

Post lockdown, the upstairs club was reborn as a sparkling dinner theatre restaurant. Downstairs, strip scenesters keen for a beer, wine or festive cocktail and Greek/Italian dishes served up by Bellocio can enjoy catch ups, screenings of RuPaul's Drag Race and a rotation of performances from drag artists and open-mic hopefuls. 

Written by
Alannah Maher

Details

Address:
85-91 Oxford St
Darlinghurst
Sydney
2010

What's On

As Seen on TV

  • Comedy

What do we have here, eh? A couple of showgirls? You bet your bottom dollarydoo! After breaking out on the first Antipodean season of the reality television juggernaut RuPaul’s Drag Race, two of Down Under’s biggest drag superstars are hitting the road on their own 19 stop Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-inspired travelling show.  Come along for the ride as Sydney’s own glamour bug Etcetera Etcetera and the fabulous Victorian chameleon Art Simone break the fourth wall and perform side-splitting numbers about their misadventures in drag and on screen in a slew of metro and regional venues in every corner of this great southern land in 2022. With all the drama of your favourite soap opera and the glamour of a late night infomercial, Art and Etcetera will give you backstage access to your favourite television shows – live and uncut. “It’s always been a dream of mine to tour Australia – all the way from woop woop to the red centre – and share my love of drag. To be able to do this and also create safe and inclusive spaces for all, makes it a deadset bucket-list moment. I’m stoked!” says Art Simone. In addition to the live show and a meet and greet ($55-93.50), the duo is also conducting intimate Backstage Beauty School workshops ($82.50) in a selection of towns on the tour. This is a unique opportunity to watch two industry legends transform from drab to fab while sharing their top-secret makeup tips and tricks. Workshop attendees will also score a free gift bag from NYX Professio

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