Want to hear the backstory of Drag Me To Love? Well at DoncoHQ, Bonnie & The Bonettes where interviewed by Doncaster’s Bio-Queen Bipolar Adul, as well as having an amazing photoshoot with award winning Shane Peagram.
Doncaster’s finest Bio-queen Bipolar Adul interviews Newcastle based theatre company Bonnie & The Bonettes. This Interview took place at DoncoHQ whereby all the three queens prepared for a photoshoot with local award winning photography Shane Peagram for what has now become known as “Drag Alley”.
Cameron Sharp, Hattie Eason & Becky Glendanning, known collectively as Bonnie & The Bonettes are a theatre company from Newcastle. Currently touring their three person show, Drag Me To Love, alongside hosting and producing The Bon Bons Cabaret, Bonnie & The Bonnettes are dragging theatre in new and neon directions.
Originally from Doncaster, Cameron spent his teen years in heels and hair living a drag fantasy. Drag Me To Love is the autobiographical story of a fierce donny queen.
So how do you guys do your makeup?
C: We always get ready together.
- I don’t think we could do it apart!
- We share a lot of makeup. Our look is so different show to show, so if we start together, we’re all in the same place.
I’ve always started with the aesthetic and gone from there, I’ve always been like that, not just in drag but in everything.
- It’s nice to get there on the day and think “Okay, what’s the material? What have we got?” and get that to translate onto your face.
- It’s strange looking back over the last year and seeing how much our makeup has changed. It’s learning about your own face, I used to block my brows but I can’t be arsed now.
- You tried to teach me once. My eyebrows are really big anyway and you could see them through all the make-up!
- Drag Me To Love started as a uni project with me and Abby. It was originally written as a massive show with eleven characters and a cast of eight. It was a massive musical! When we started putting it together, we realised it needed to be more intimate and we cut it to three people. We needed a singer and Hattie could sing. At this point, it was a fifteen minute piece with no theatre company. Once Hattie was on board, she did a lot more than we had anticipated and we started doing scratch events and gaining a following.
Abby decided she was moving to Canada, she wanted to find herself. Well, she did, and now she’s back. While she was gone we needed a replacement. We all have a “gimmick”, I’m the drag queen the story is about, Hattie can sing, so we knew the third person needed to balance it out. I’d directed Becky in a play before and she is hilarious.
- We were thinking of the same person before we’d talked about it so it was a sign really.
- She said yes, so we started writing a full show and it stuck. We did more scratches and then we did a preview in Newcastle. After that, we decided to tour it. It was interesting to see how the show was received by different audiences in different towns.
- We always said the project was for parents of queer kids. I think some parents have a preconceived idea about what being gay means. It’s okay! It’s fine!
- I did drag between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, and then I stopped. Those four years are the show really. I used to go out in the middle of the night to do drag, and no one knew! I had a year and a bit out, but when I started again I completely redefined my drag persona. I’d fallen out of love with it. I tried to separate drag and theatre saying “I’m not a drag queen, I’m an actor”. Now I can see I’m both.
- We’ve just had a residency where our mums were with us for three days. It’s going to be very different.
- It won’t be a drag show as such, but it will be interesting to see what elements of drag we take and use. It’s scary because we don’t know what the show will be yet. It’s exciting.
You guys are into Cabaret too right?
- We produce and host a cabaret event called The Bon Bons Cabaret. That’s us creating a platform for queer performers to showcase their art. It’s a full cohesive event. We host and do little numbers, we have a collection of people we work with there. All performers get paid too, which is lovely.
H.It makes a difference for people and that’s nice. We are always working on short performances that aren’t just numbers but dialogue and other mediums.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into drag or theatre?
For drag, theatre, or both! I would say get out and try it. It’s about finding your look, your style, your comedy, your lip-syncing style, your act. For me, the best way to do that is try as much as you can then decide. Picking bits from everything to form a brand that is yours. Then you get to play with it. Constantly challenge yourself too. Don’t get too comfortable and do something that both excites and scares you!
Bonnie and the Bonnettes will be showcasing their three person show Drag Me To Love at CAST on April 13th.
Catch Bipolar Adul and the rest of Doncaster drag haus on the last Saturday of the month at Hallcross pub on Hallgate.