Let’s go outside! BURN, the platform for moving images by cabaret artists, is all about exploring what performers can do with a camera that they can’t do with only an audience. One of those things is to use the camera itself as a portable audience, and take performance to the streets. We’re talking drag in daylight, realness on record, getting in public spaces and the public’s faces.
Drawing on the work of London’s underground scene and several American cousins too, this selection of short work gets freaky in the supermarket, works up a sweat on public transport, brings glamour to toilets and raw meat to the hubs of capital.
Does gender exist without a public? Should children see more bearded drag queens? What does it take to occupy Times Square, Trafalgar Square or Disneyland? And is that really Margaret Thatcher eating an ice cream by the Thames? The answers to these questions and more are waiting… outside.
Total running time 71 mins.
2013, UK, video, colour, sound, 1 min.
Get the taste: a sampler of BURN’s trademark mix of music, comedy, documentary and experimentation.
Matthew Snead / Taylor Mac
2007, UK, video, colour, sound, 3 min.
Public transport rethought (I): performer extraordinaire Taylor Mac takes the Tube in all his finery, puts his faith in commuters and delivers a lovely song.
Konstantinos Menelaou / Jonny Woo
2013, UK, video, colour, sound, 3 min.
Public transport rethought (II): London’s alt-drag superstar Jonny Woo hops the rails for an east London tour set to LF/LB’s tuff– disco track.
On the Road
Hannes Richter / Meow Meow
2008, Germany, video, colour, sound, 2 min.
Public transport rethought (III): kamikaze diva Meow Meow takes the signs in German train toilets very seriously – and everyone wins. Filmed on a phone.
Alexandros Pissourios / A Man to Pet
2010, UK, video, colour, sound, 6 min.
In this video excerpted from her live show, international sensation A Man to Pet goes shopping for ingredients. As is her wont, she takes the long way round…
Ben Walters / Tricity Vogue
2014, UK, video, colour, sound, 4 min.
Ever fancied a change? Ukulele chanteuse Tricity Vogue has long hair but she feels like a boy. A private transformation plays out with a public frisson.
Judy Jacob / Nando Messias
2009, UK, video, colour, sound, 11 min.
Beauty is all around, including in you. Still, it can be hard to leave the house, even when you know you aren’t alone. A melancholic drag dance comedy.
Drag Queen Weddings for Equality
Joe E. Jeffreys / Brianna Cracker, Frosty Flakes, Kittin Withawhip
2011, USA, video, colour, sound, 3 min.
What gets more attention than a drag queen in Times Square? Three drag queens in Times Square. Filmed by Joe E Jeffreys for Drag Show Video Vérité, featuring Brianna Cracker, Frosty Flakes and Kittin Withawhip.
PJ Raval / Christeene
2011, USA, video, colour, sound, 5 min.
When you piss off Starbucks and the Scientologists, you must be doing something right. The phenomenal Christeene hits the mall, y’all.
Lewis G. Burton & Victor Ivanov
2014, UK, video, colour, sound, 3 min.
Make a gimp suit out of chicken skin. Go to London’s business zone of Canary Wharf on a warm day. See what happens. Featuring Lewis G. Burton.
Post Office Blues
2009, UK, video, colour, sound, 4 min.
It’s a cliché that the British love to queue. Lorraine Bowen’s not convinced – but if you have to wait in line, why not make a music video about it?
Maggie, Maggie, Maggie’s Day Out, Out, Out
Harry Clayton-Wright / Myra DuBois
2014, UK, video, colour, sound, 4 min.
If the Iron Lady came back for a day, would she recognise London now? Would she walk by the river? Would she look good on a carousel? Featuring Myra DuBois.
A Man in the Crowd
2010, UK, video, colour, sound, 3 min.
In 2009, there was a lottery to allow people to spend time on Trafalgar Square’s vacant plinth. Dickie Beau won. He channels Marilyn, watches, and is watched.
Rev Billy’s Christmas at Disneyland
Rob Van Alkemade /
Rev Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping
2007, USA, video, colour, sound, 6 min.
Featuring Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping in this excerpt from the feature film What Would Jesus Buy?, vessels of righteousness infiltrate the heart of darkness. Careful with that singing, now.
A Village Stroll with David Hoyle
Nathan Evans / David Hoyle
2008, UK, video, colour, sound,15 min.
The inimitable David Hoyle tours south London’s Vauxhall gay village. Fags, dykes, workmen, churchgoers, children, animals and cops come out to say hi.
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