Cork burlesque, pole and drag show marks first anniversary

This week sees the one year anniversary of a burlesque, pole and drag show at a Cork city venue. MIA POLAND chats to the founder of ‘Poppin Pasties’ to find out about the inclusive show for all performers and exciting plans for 2023
Cork burlesque, pole and drag show marks first anniversary

Poppy De Scrace.

DID you know that we have a total of 50 Irish drag kings? Poppy De Scrace, who sometimes performs as a drag king, tells all when it comes to the diversity of drag, burlesque and pole performers.

“I’m a drag queen and a drag king depending on my mood,” said Poppy, who performs and hosts shows in Cork as part of their monthly show Poppin Pasties.

Coming up to their one year anniversary, I decided to shed some light on the hard work put in by Poppy and the self-proclaimed ‘Poppy Seeds’ in the Drag Haus of Disgrace.

Poppy, who started the show, describes themselves as “an anime character who is silly, fun, colourful and supportive”.

Within a Drag Haus or family, it is often the case that more experienced performers will take newer people under their wing. In this case, Poppy has become a drag parent to many new performers in Cork.

“As a drag parent, I can’t teach you how to do make-up but I can give you a space to perform and I can support you and encourage you. I do support the heck out of my friends,” said Poppy.

Poppy’s drag was gradually created over years of their self-expression and attending other drag shows until they were asked to perform in UCC Drag Race.

“When I was younger, I dressed not how someone else would dress beautifully but how I thought was beautiful. I wore pink wigs, puffy skirts and neon green tights so I’d feel nice,” said Poppy.

“But then I was asked to compete in UCC Drag Race and as soon as I got off stage I texted a producer saying ‘I just debuted and I love it. Can I please perform in your show?’”

The rest is history, Poppy said.

“I started producing in November, 2019. So we had two shows before lockdown. I love to curate my own space so I started doing Disgraceful Cabaret, my other show. I wanted it to be cosplay heavy. I was looking for Nerdlesque performers which is a mix of cosplay and burlesque.”

Poppy spoke passionately about the spaces they wanted to create and the ways they’ve gone about achieving their goals of curating a safe space for the queer community.

“I would never claim to have a safe space without research and work. If you look at my posters, they now say that we have a queer safe space. I vet every single performer we have.

" I will book people after I’ve checked them out to see if they’re safe to have on stage, back stage, be with the audience and have good, safe energy,” Poppy said.

Another aspect of their shows that Poppy is highly passionate about is diversity and inclusion. Efforts are made to include as many people as possible and make as many audience members as comfortable as possible, even in their attendance at shows, if Poppy can help it.

“I don’t get the point of not having a cast full of different kinds of people. I want to see different body shapes, I want to see disabled performers, I want to see people of colour performing. I want to see everything.

“I try to keep it as diverse as possible and have fun. We have a lot of silliness at my shows. At my core I am a very silly person,” Poppy said.

“Over lockdown, we hosted shows for Instagram from Angels. We really did expand around the world. And that grew into talks about a monthly burlesque show. So Angels Club hosted a show last February to see how it went. It turned out to be a huge success and the manager told me to start telling people it was now a monthly event,” explained Poppy.

“This became what we now have as Poppin Pasties that takes place on the last Sunday of every month in Angels Club. Now it takes the form of a drag, burlesque and pole show with themed shows taking place such as general pride, trans pride and bi pride.”

Poppin Pasties is having a one year anniversary show on February 26, with performances from Poppy De Scrace, Angel Reign, Viktor Complex, Bombshell Ghuleh, Richard Joke, Corpse Rhyde, Heist Homicide and Abra.

“I don’t want to say anything not nice, but Poppin Pasties is for everyone, but no racists or queerphobes allowed.

“I want my audience to feel safe and happy and silly and to have a fun time,” said Poppy.

Poppy also said that there are future plans for March in place for St Patrick’s Day with a People of Colour in Ireland pride themed event hosted by Richard Joke.

There are also upcoming events where Poppy’s Drag King persona Dez Scrace will take the stage.

More information can be found on the instagram page @_poppin_pasties

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