The Real Housewives of Northbridge
@ Casa Mondo, Yagan Square
Friday, January 18, 2019


The Real Housewives of Northbridge opened with an acknowledgement to country that lasted longer than usual and there was mention of treaties, stolen land and an “All White” party held on the same grounds as the show just months before. From the very first moments, audience members are rustled into realisation that this isn’t your average drag, which lets you switch off and wait for the death drop. This drag is real, fiery and not afraid to challenge your social conditioning. This is the Real Housewives of Northbridge (TRHON), and henny, they are ready to rustle your feathers.

Conceived by Henry Boles (who previously worked on a similar ‘housewives’ project in Berlin) TRHON consist of Queerpatra (bendy angel Elijah Bartholomew), Rita Hoedown (Perth fem theatre icon Jacinta Larcombe), Amelia Cantaford (Mark Briffa of ‘boyname’ fame) and Ash Traylia (the Aussie version of Paris Hilton played by Boles).

The performers formed a cult following from slots at Leg Day, a mid week queer event run by Lucky Pete (Pete Foley) at The Bird on William Street. The sold out audiences of these FRINGE shows are after a more professional, lengthy and well-devised show after the sweet and spicy tastes offered at this energetic event. 

If you are after something quiet, with roomy seating and can’t stomach a little bit of genitalia here and there (both at your feet and in front of your eyes) – this is NOT the show for you. This show is racey, fast-paced, LOUD and the BPM remains high. Each performer offers a stunning solo to drag hits, from Kylie Minogue to Berlin bops (also known as techno). The highlight, however, is not the butt wiggle enduing hits with toned legs in stilettos but instead the tiny slices of intimacy offered up by each of the performers – willing to be vulnerable not only in their physicality but by turning their tales of queerness, femininity, race or just simply being a better dancer than everyone, into one liners for the audience to bubble up and enjoy.

Queerpatra takes an interesting indigenous perspective on blackface, which could be deemed by some as controversial. That controversial element is, however, addressed in the script, as are all the other, perhaps, not so politically correct gags done by people who are most likely always told they aren’t ‘correct’ enough in the first place. Rita Hoedown’s talk show is well presented, timed, and executed. The audience involvement section is somehow done with the perfect level of awkwardness, arousal and slices to the patriarchy. If only everyone reacted so well to the Gillette ad as they did to this segment. 

Special mentions to the INCREDIBLE Noah Way, who plays an at times flaccid and at times writhing token of masculine energy. His ability to lie so still and then jump straight into action is honestly shocking, not to mention whilst in teeny tiny gold shorts. Also to Scarlet Davies, a new member of TRHON – who supported her performers so humbly in the background and shone when it was her time. It was disappointing to see her robot character not do the robot dance, but perhaps she will take this on board for the final show.

If you are ready for the vivacious energy of these nasty Housewives, please take the laughter and arousal with a strong dash of social wokeness. These performers have been through some shit, and they are willing to talk about the issues affecting Australia, our world and our young people – from climate change, misogyny, transphobia, racism and Australia’s colonialist past – and turn it into a sexy and charismatic package that feels a bit like sunrise at a warehouse in Malaga. This is the drag show Perth has been waiting for. They have been so rightly awarded a FRINGE WORLD Theatre Award for their efforts and energies.