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 / 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 The multi award-winning Gingzilla is on a mission to conquer the world! Gingzilla: Glamonster vs the World presents gender equality and femininity from the 1950s to now. ★★★★★ (GlamAdelaide.com.au). Smashing together 1950s films like Godzilla, Swamp Monster and King Kong, Glamonster subverts the idea that…
Gilded Balloon and Gingzilla present… Ferocious queens and fierce divas of the world, rejoice! Gingzilla, the giant, ginger, award-winning Glamonster, returns to host Late Night Lip Service, featuring the Fringe's wildest acts, lip-sync battles, debauched drag and midnight madness. Open wide and wrap your lips around…