Review By Matthew Hocter
Metamorphosis; the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages and a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one. Change has been at the global forefront over the last year and in reality, for a hell of a lot longer and for a wide range of people. As described above, the process of metamorphosis is one that essentially sees some kind of transformation. Transformation, whether we acknowledge it or not, happens to all of us and more than likely, a number of times throughout our lives. Some of the biggest changes (transformations) the world has ever seen have happened over the last year, things that have included and not been limited to, race, politics, culture, how we interact with one another and ultimately humanity. Change is inevitable.
It's no secret that transformation is at the core of the art of drag, to what extent is not only up to the artist themselves, but also the genre and type of drag they find themselves in. Always the first where change is concerned, drag is not just a visual form of artistry, but also something that is deeply rooted in politics and culture. Whilst politics may not have been at the forefront of Metamorphosis, change, evolution and growth most certainly were.
Produced by and starring Adelaide Drag royalty Hollie Graffix, her first foray into the Fringe festival saw her calling on fellow South Australian Queens Lucy Flawless and Kween Kong to be a part of one of this year's breakout smash hits. The stage was set up as a backstage to the girls show, with onstage changes, makeup touch-ups and wig snatches all taking place before our very eyes. Kong brought a whole lotta sass to her quick wit, comedic banter and acrobatic dance moves, while Graffix brought her own self-described “fishy, femme fatale look” to a whole other level and delivered some spectacular fashion moments. Flawless, the diminutive blond bombshell, brought high camp hilarity throughout the show, especially when a member of the audience was pulled on stage to be transformed into a drag Queen.
Adopting the name “Popsicle Peaches” as voted on by the audience, the audience member formerly known as “Brendon” lip-synced with his eyes (a COVID safe mask was in place to ensure this) and was then given a lap dance by Flawless that brought the house down. It wasn’t just all about the sass and hilarity though. There were softer moments where each cast member spoke of how they got into drag and some of the back stories that surrounded those stories. Kong spoke of the stong women in her life and how they showed her how to become a man, referring to himself as “the first brown unicorn,” whilst Graffix discussed gender and identity with an incredibly powerful story that nobody saw coming. Flawless on the other hand, almost had a mother like figure, quietly hilarious and a presence that never dominated, but was always felt.
Metamorphosis once again showed the brilliance of the art form we call drag, as well as how much work goes into not just the costumes, but the choreography, writing and overall production. The lip syncs were on point, the real-life stories on transformation were there and should you read between the lines, then you would have witnessed that like many of us, we are all going through things, not always on display, but the internal struggles are there and very real. As Graffix stated herself “Change is relevant and change is needed.” Metamorphosis was most definitely the change that we all needed and one that has never been more relevant than now.