As we continue to celebrate Pride Month here at Capers Magazine, I wanted to learn more about comedy in the world of drag. I have been fascinated by drag ever since watching John Waters’ seminal work, Pink Flamingos, many years ago, and witnessing pioneering drag goddess Divine literally eat dog shit on camera for a laugh. There is a real edge to drag comedy: it’s mischievous, often scathing, attacking, and unflinching – but at the same time, it’s linguistic, camp, highly performative and dramatic.
To help me understand more, I reached out to Kyran Thrax: drag daughter of the legendary Charity Kase, and winner of Tamish Iman’s Drag Battle Season 1.
In this short interview, Kyran offers her opinion on certain comedic aspects of drag, and makes me reconsider my career choices…
David: Hello Kyran, thank you so much for talking to us. Straight off the bat, how important is humour to the drag world?
Kyran: I think it’s very important. I don’t think everything about drag needs to be comical – like there can be political stuff, there can be avant garde stuff, there can be completely different directions – but comedy, I think, is theatricality… which is the core of drag. But obviously it’s always changing. I find myself gravitating to comedy and working with comedy the most… I guess? Was that a lie? I don’t know… that could’ve been untrue.
David: Hahaha, okay, so we’ll leave that as maybe you gravitate to comedy the most – fine. Drag queens are famous for some of my favourite types of humour – innuendo and put-downs to name but two. What is the shadiest thing you’ve ever heard a drag queen or king say to another?
Kyran: Nothing’s springing to mind at the moment, but what I do is mostly insult and clown the audience. So, my favourite thing to do at the moment is to convince an audience member – a straight audience member – that it’s a safe space and they’re allowed to say a gay slur with me. So, I get them to say it with me, and then I make them feel super, super bad for saying it.
(It might be useful to add that, at this point in the original voice recording of the interview, Kyran is laughing like when you do a funny naughty thing, and is not a straight-faced sociopath like the text version might make her seem. Like, I’m laughing while I write this, but you cant tell obviously because its in inanimate text, so… Shut up.)
David: Well, they probably deserved it. To your mind, who is the funniest drag queen or king and why?
“Comedy, I think, is theatricality … which is the core of drag”
David: Anna Bortion, Frieda Slaves, Malestia Child: Drag names are often dirty or witty puns: what is the dirtiest or wittiest drag name you’ve ever come across?
Kyran: There’s an artist called Hernia – I love that, I don’t know why. And a friend I have called Miss Leigh Ding, which took me so long to understand; because of the way it’s spelt it just really confused me – but then when it clicked, it clicked.
David: That’s a good name. While I’ve got you here, what do you think of my drag name – Colin Flower?
Kyran: I love Colin Flower… I fucking love that! The stupider the better.
David: So, do you think there’s space on the London drag scene for a heavily bearded, root vegetable-esque, ‘dad joke’ teller?
Kyran: Yes! I think there’s space for everyone! And that sounds like quite the unique selling point already…
Well, there you have it: my drag name gets the green light! With that, I hereby declare my retirement from journalism and announce that I will be heading into central London today to find my fame as a heavily bearded, root vegetable-esque drag queen named Colin Flower! Wish me luck… Goodbye.
You can keep up with Kyran’s latest stuff and see more of her impressive drag work HERE!