Bowled Over the dragumentary, coming to SBS this month, follows three drag queens from Taboo at North Ipswich Bowls Club over the course of a year.
A decade ago, the Taboo monthly drag show rescued the bowls club from its financial woes. Bowled Over tells the stories of three queens from Taboo, each at a different phase of their career.
Crystal Heart, otherwise grandfather-of-three Karl Eastaughffe, after a decade of organising the shows, is on the point of retirement.
Candy Featherbottom, aka local Grade Seven student Logan, is just starting out as a 12-year-old drag queen.
And then there’s our own Ass-trologer to the Stars, Wanda DParke. 58-year-old Ross Waghorn describes his career as enjoying a revival thanks to Taboo.
Karl Eastaughffe came out to his family as gay and a drag queen after becoming a father and then divorcing at the age of 20.
As the driving force behind Taboo, he not only performs in the show but also books the other acts and designs the sets.
Although Karl previously retired from the show, dwindling audiences consequently forced his return. However, Karl is now planning to again pack Crystal back into the closet. He says preparations for the monthly show are wearing him out. He suffers from both a debilitating knee injury and mental health concerns. He’s also hoping to see his chest hairs after 26 long years of regular shaving.
Karl’s mum, Joan, and step-dad Kel are his indispensable support team. Joan is Crystal’s biggest fan and Kel is the Taboo raffle boy.
Ross Waghorn both features in the dragumentary and narrates it. Ross credits Taboo with resurrecting his flailing career.
Although he started in drag later than many, Ross says he’s making up for lost time.
Held back by crippling body image as an anorexic teen, Ross, in recent years took steps to lose someone he refers to as ‘fat Wanda’, in preparation for a return to his hometown of Biloela.
He heads home to debut his one (wo)man autobiographical cabaret ‘The Girl from Biloela’ – a prospect he finds ‘absolutely terrifying’.
Ross says he owes his career’s second wind to the gig at the North Ipswich Bowls Club.
“Drag for me has always been an outlet for Ross to bring my creativity to the world.
“Wanda’s been good to me in that Ross has gotten a better look at life.”
Ross says he’s ‘totally going for it’ seeing this as possibly his last chance to fulfil his potential.
He wants to take ‘The Girl From Biloela’ on the road around Australia before ultimately his dream of West End, London.
Twelve-year-old Logan Kelly loves golfing and soccer. He has a black belt in karate and he ‘does’ drag.
He views drag as a pathway to an acting career and aims to become a triple threat performer like his hero Hugh Jackman.
Logan and his mum are devoted fans of Taboo and Logan first hit the Taboo stage after a challenge to a ‘drag-off’ against a regular club performer.
Logan is currently preparing for his first ‘proper performance’ – a drag duet with Crystal at Taboo’s tenth-anniversary show.
Bowled Over the dragumentary. SBS Tuesday 19 January.