DRAG QUEEN SENSATION MOIST YERIZA! - MELBOURNE
DRAG QUEEN SENSATION MOIST YERIZA! Butterfly Club, Carson Place Melbourne, 1-4 February 2018. Photography Julie Millowick
In a small country town where the blokes are blokes and women have to be blokes to survive, we find self-styled drag queen extraordinaire Moist Yeriza (Bridget Haylock). She’s a woman posing as a man posing as a drag queen.
Dressed in lurex and sweeping eyelashes, with a wig that a lot of drag queens would kill for, Moist Yeriza's act is less than polished as she teeters riotously through the motions of what she thinks is a drag act. She sings “I'm your man”, there is dreadful choreography and lousy feather boa work – it had the audience in stitches.
At the end of the drag act, and well sucked in, we learn more about how she survives in the desolate, male-dominated small town. She talks of being controlled, a rape, the loss of a child and the need, ultimately, to stand on her own. Sounds like it could be maudlin but it's not. Haylock relishes the outback vernacular interspersed with the drag darling, and the audience loved it too.
Directed by Sue Ingleton – who knows a nuance better than anyone – allowed Haylock to find the bridge between humour and pathos. The ending, where everything strips away to the performer becoming the person – with a brilliant rendition of “I am what I am” – brought the storyline to an impressive climax. Music is by Paul Mortensen, and it all works a treat.