What can you tell us about your show?
Imagine that film Dunkirk and then think of the exact opposite and that’s the show. It’s a comedy/musical/serious Ted Talk/book reading merged into one gender and genre bending 50 minutes. The Anatomy of A Drag Queen, perhaps. It’s all about all the things it takes to be a drag queen, or to simply be who you are — and how to navigate and expel shame in order to do so. It’s also a money laundering scheme for my fancy furs business.
What inspired you to write the production?
I think I wanted to see if I was capable of doing a show on my own. I wrote a book earlier this year, but for me performing has always been such a glorious mode of communication and so I essentially wanted to take the book and make it into a show. It’s all based on real events, and I wanted to make a show that explores shame, violence, but also love and glamour and growing up in the North West and coming out like ten times as ten different things so that other people who were once as confused as me might leave feeling seen, heard, and understood. That’s what a good show should do — allow you to both escape and to see yourself. So I hope I can pull that off…
Why did you want to write about this subject?
The show really focuses in on shame. And it’s something I’ve always been obsessed with, having suffered at its hand for as long as I can remember. I wrote the book to excavate internal shame, and I wanted the show to do the same. I wanted to create a space where I could be the embodiment (by the end of the show) of someone who has managed to let go of shame despite society foisting a lot of it onto people like me. I think so many of us are still driven by shame in many ways, and I think the world would be a better place if we weren’t, so I hope people leave with a few tips and tricks to avoid it. I’d like to of course thank the Academy for their belief in me, and also my mum and dad who gave a lot to put me in a place where I could win this Oscar for best role in a Fringe Show.
What’s the one thing that makes it different from the rest?
Hmmm… I don’t like this one because you sound really big headed, however I have been told that my singing voice is basically more beautiful than God herself. I’m kidding, but I’ve been told it’s good. And I also think this show is really about the heart of drag — about what it takes to be different, not just about being different. It’s painful at times and hilarious at times. I think drag does that so well.
How does it feel to be at Underbelly?
When I did my first ever fringe with my drag sisters in DENIM we were at the Underbelly and it was wonderful. We had the best Fringe. And it’s so exciting to be alongside so many amazing artists who are bringing work there. Beyond that — to be in Belly Dancer, which is my specific site at Cowgate, is so wildly exciting to me: it’s where Lucy McCormick first did Triple Threat, one of my favourite show, and it housed the truly perfect Christeene. What shoes to fill!
What would you say to people thinking of coming to see your production?
I would say come if you want to both have an iconic time and learn something about what it really means to be a drag queen, to be gender non-conforming. I would say come if you want to screech with laughter and listen to seven very very good songs sung by a northern queen whose voice never quite dropped. I’d say come if you’re unsure about drag, because exposure is honestly the key to so many things. And I’d say come if you’re looking for your next wife (only if billionaire) because I’m ready and waiting.
Crystal Rasmussen presents The Bible 2 (Plus a Cure for Shame, Violence, Betrayal and Athlete’s Foot) Live! is at Underbelly Cowgate 1st – 25th August.