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Life’s a drag and that’s OK

Saturday, 18th June, 2011

LIFE IS A CABARET: Anthony Carthew, aka Amelia Airhead, during one of his ‘Drag’ performances at the Cabaret Festival in Adelaide. LIFE IS A CABARET: Anthony Carthew, aka Amelia Airhead, during one of his ‘Drag’ performances at the Cabaret Festival in Adelaide.

Former local Andrew Carthew is finding a whole new audience with his new stage show “Drag”, which is being performed at Adelaide’s Festival Centre.

The “virtually” retired performer - who goes by the stage name of Amelia Airhead - created the show when the opportunity came about in 2009 to showcase his talent at the famous Spiegeltent at the Sydney Opera House.

“So I got the people I’d worked with together, some of them back 30 years ago, and it sold out instantly,” the 45-year-old told the BDT.

An executive assistant at the Sydney Opera House, he gathered 20 cross-dressers of all ages for a performance which he classed as a “big hit”.

The Opera House then booked Mr Carthew in for five nights the following year, and then it was booked for four shows at this year’s Cabaret festival in Adelaide.

“It’s something new,” he said. “My aim from this is to show that drag is not scary but a form of entertainment.”

He said the stigma around homosexuality had “improved a lot”, and audiences were becoming more and more diverse.

The Burke Ward and Broken Hill High student, who left the city in the early ‘80s at the age of 17, found most of his audience were “mums and dads who haven’t seen drag before.”

As for the future, the Sydneysider wasn’t dropping any hints about his upcoming projects.

“I’ve got a few little things with the Opera House, but nothing I can sort of reveal just yet.”

The Adelaide show finishes on June 25.

 

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