Friday, 4 September 2009

WHAT A DRAG!

Someone recently sent me this photo from the colourful past of the wonderful Mr Stephen Fry...


Hmmm... Yes, well, it probably seemed a lot funnier at the time.

But it reminded me of seeing a performance by the equally droll Mr Eddie Izzard (left), shortly after he emerged from the cross-dressing closet.

As he walked on stage the atmosphere in the theater was electric. It was as if the entire audience was asking itself "How am I supposed to react?" This was understandable. After all, Izzard was no conventional drag artiste, this was very, very obviously a man dressed in perhaps not the most alluring choice of female garb and a tad too much make-up. The pressure of several hundred people trying not to laugh out loud was palpable.

Then Izzard brilliantly released the pent-up anxiety by converting it to expressible hilarity.

"I know what you're all thinking!" he began and then paused allowing us to think about what he thought we were thinking! There was the odd snigger and a couple of suppressed titters.

Then he went on: "You're thinking, 'That's extraordinary! There's a guy standing on stage --- with a cordless microphone!'"

The audience erupted with laughter and applause and, from then on, what he was wearing became totally an irrelevant.

There's probably a lesson there for all of us - though I'm not entirely sure what it is!

6 comments:

Susan D-L said...

I think the message is "To thine own self be true... and flaunt it, baby!"

These are two of my favorite guys in funnydom. I nearly had to have my couch reupholstered thanks to Mr Izzard.

Boll Weavil said...

Julian Clary always looked remarkably at home in drag !
Are you still in Greece Mr B ? Will be heading that way myself next Friday (to Crete).
SURGANNE : The feeling of Englishness one gets when turning onto Radio 4 and hearing Stephen Fry's voice.

Eudora said...

I never understand why so many men have this like to dress as a woman, and not necessarily with good taste.

And not only in tv or comedy brodcast, or because they are drags or homosexuals... this hapends in big cities and poor countries, educated people and simple men of little villages...

Is perhaps because they think that is funny see a man dressed like a woman?, but, is not always funny...:/

Diva of Deception said...

I agree with you Eudora - it is only the ones who look good who make it into the public eye. There is a lot of sadness in those who are built in a totally unsuitable way for female clothing yet insist on wearing it... I used to work on a dress stall with a changing room and often tried to find suitable attire for eminently unsuitable male forms...

Good Dog said...

Back in the first year at The Esteemed School of Art, during the summer months, when it came to the weekly life drawing they the tutors would send us out to sketch in Covent Garden's piazza.

One time I saw Mr Izzard have a real hissy fit when some kiddies messing about interrupted his street performance. ...Good grief, I feel old.

Brian Sibley said...

A lot of interesting comments...

I think the reasons why some men (and women) 'cross-dress' are many, complex and, I believe, vary greatly from individual to individual.

The cultural attitudes towards cross-dressing across the centuries are, in themselves, fascinating (from Old Testament Biblical condemnation to the hey-day of Victorian musical hall when some of the most popular headlining acts were performed by men dressed women and, particularly, women dressed as men) and indicate that it far from being a new phenomenon.