Gingzilla: 'I'm a monster, whether you like it or not'

This article is from 2018

Gingzilla: 'I'm a monster, whether you like it or not'

Gingzilla / credit: Scott Chalmers

The statuesque drag queen brings the glamourous and grotesque origin story of Gingzilla to Fringe 2018

From behind, Gingzilla looks like your run-of-the-mill drag queen, albeit on the taller side at 7ft – but twirl her around and a glorious ginger beard immediately unmasks her aesthetic. After starting her drag career with self-confessed clown-ish makeup, her look has become much more polished, which is why clinching the deal with a beard strikes such a chord with both audiences and passers-by.

'When I started becoming more feminine and pretty, people had to stop and go: "Okay, how do I feel about what I'm seeing now? You are equally beautiful as you are masculine,"' she explains. 'I very much wanted to be a man, but with both sides – really teetering on that feminine/masculine edge.'

Gingzilla's Fringe show, Gingzilla: Glamonster vs the World, explores the idea of embodying all sides of this gender-fucking coin, through heroes of 50s and 60s B-movies (both Attack of the 50ft Woman and Godzilla being particularly on the nose) as well as self-actualisation and becoming one's true self through overthrowing subjection.

'The show is an origin story of Gingzilla,' she says. 'It's set around a character who's oppressed by the world and the patriarchy and she's trying to conform. In the second half of the show, she throws it all off and goes: "I'm not the pretty thing you want me to be. I'm a monster, whether you like it or not."'

Gingzilla: 'I'm a monster, whether you like it or not'

Gingzilla / credit: credit: Scott Chalmers
Rejoice in your weirdness and let your freak flag fly: that's the integral message here. Gingzilla is obsessed with interweaving the glamorous and the monstrous – why lip sync a perfect rendition of 'It's Raining Men' when you could bear your face to the Gods, put on a queer anthem and then spend it slowly devouring a whole chicken? It's the absurdity that fascinates Gingzilla.

'My inspiration comes from turning the concept of being aesthetically pleasing on its head and being as gross and as fun as I possibly can,' says Gingzilla. 'So the illusion is always dismantled. I love the absurd and the grotesque and mixing them together.'

While Glamonster vs the World is the perfect showcase for Gingzilla's vocal aerobics – as a former corporate singer, she really does have a great voice – she's also host of a twice-weekly midnight party, Late Night Lip Service, which has a distinctly different vibe.

'It's very much your wild drag show. Each night we put on the best queer acts in the Fringe. They're two completely different shows: Glamonster is a theatrical cabaret piece, but my late-night show is party good times.'

The one theme that does unite both of Gingzilla's shows is authenticity. Ingrained in all work she creates is a sense of truth, taking on – in a way – modern day social media ideals. 'You get to see the polished, beautiful facade,' she says, 'but you don't get to see behind the scenes: people being tucked and pulled and squished. I want viewers to see both sides of it. I want you to see the glamorous and gorgeous side, but I can also be grotesque and in-your-face. You don't know what you're going to get in what moment.'

Gingzilla: Glamonster vs the World, Assembly George Square Theatre, 3–26 Aug (not 8, 14, 21), 8pm, £13 (£11). Previews 1 & 2 Aug, £10
Late Night Lip Service, Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, 4 & 5, 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 24 & 25 Aug, midnight, £12.50. Preview 3 Aug, £10.

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