Back on the road again, our next stop was Galway City. Our friend was performing that evening, so a group of us has travelled from the East to offer our support. My AirBNB was located close to Eyre Square, in the heart of the city. Our pre-show meal was not until 5.30pm, so I had a few hours to explore. Galway is a city I know quite well, visiting every year. I wandered around Shop Street and Quay Street, down to the Spanish Arch (having called into Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on the way). The Galway City Museum was an interesting location to visit also. At 5.30, the group reassembled at the Re-Nao Thai restaurant for dinner.
The show was being held in the Irish language, cultural centre Aras na nGael. For our delectation that evening was a Drag King show. The Jezebel Jocks are Galway’s (and perhaps Ireland’s) first troupe of male impersonators. In recent years drag as an art form has become quite mainstream and anodyne – since the RuPaul show took it from the gay scene to a mass audience pergaps. Female impersonators are ten-a-penny and with a few exceptions quite dull and pedestrian. Drag Kings – women impersonating males – are more alternative and unusual. I was very much looking forward to this show.
Looking around the audience I noticed that in a room of about sixty people and despite the false moustaches worn by the audience, I was one of the tiny handful of male-born persons in the room. This was a show for women who will never take a husband. I felt very welcome though.
The show was fantastic – a series of dragged up, female performers doing a cabaret show, in either male or androgynous attire. They included Ulick Ni Clitterbug; Jaunty Bi Nature, Kenny Todgers; Victor/Victoria and a poet who read from her collections of poetry. I remembered dancing to ‘Losing my mind’ by Liza Minnelli, with my friend – the real person behind the hilarious Ulick ni Clitterbug – around my living room some weeks earlier. It was great to see it performed onstage. It was a highly entertaining show with fast paced sketches and monologues. After the show the chairs were cleared for dancing, where the party continued. A wonderful evening.
The following morning I repaired to the appropriately named ‘Revive’ café where a pancake breakfast was inhaled. Onwards to the Salthill Promenade and a dip in the ocean. Ulick joined us at the beach – in her civvies today however. The sun was shining, the cod and chips were delicious and the company was good. I announced that I hoped it would be raining on my return to work on Monday, as I didn’t want this weekend to end. And so it came to pass.