A Night of Drag at The Vicious Poodle

Written on 06/05/2021
Brandon Robbins

I was thrilled to be at the Vicious Poodle Tuesday night. Tuesday Drag is back in action after months of being on hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions. Tonight was the first night of drag Victoria has seen. Yeah, sure, it was pre-recorded because live performances are still restricted, but at the Vicious Poodle, drag continues to thrive, projected on screen, giving us a theatre vibe.

Although instead of popcorn, patrons enjoy their kitchen’s hot tantalizing selections. I am a sucker for their dumplings.

A Brief History: Tuesday night drag shows at the Vicious Poodle have been happening for nearly two years. The resident queens host Tuesday Night Drag, featuring guest performers from the local area and entertaining patrons at their tables while they enjoy a drink and a hot meal. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, the show has been adapted to its current form. Their performances, remaining somewhat live with transparent masks and bedazzled face guards, providing a show audiences and drag enthusiasts cheer for.

Hosted by Victoria’s Poodle Pack, Henrietta Debut, everyone’s favourite fruit- Honey Dew-me, and Vivian Vanderpus. These glorious queens are joined by a guest performer every session. This week they were joined by the illustrious Immacolata Vintage to view their work on screen. They all arrived, dolled up in bright, fun floral frocks with energy to match.

After getting comfortable, the hosts brought attention to some important things; the land on which we stood, the awareness of privilege, and ways to use it.

Dubet: "Use your voice. They are likely to hear you because you look like them."

I appreciated this. It’s essential to use your voice. Have people think about where we are situated and who came before us. It needs to be talked about. There was an intentional pause to allow it to sink in. Once that was done, the fun could begin. The lights lowered, and the projector lit.

Recorded or not, these queens brought it. Entertaining patrons with elegance and outlandish humour. Watching definitely had me dancing in my seat. Other moments, I was laughing uncontrollably. I was amazed at the level of energy radiating from the screen. Seeing this, you could tell they enjoyed what they did. Showcasing the musical styling of Lana-Del Rey, Liza Minelli or simply an awkward phone call demanding toilet paper. It was a show that offered something for everyone. Although there were no youths in the audience. Parental discretions is advised for those youths wanting to join in. 

Vintage: "I had a blast. It was a lively atmosphere where people could come together to celebrate queer art again. It was an emotional and positive experience, being able to connect with community and escape the chaos."

Everyone is looking forward to June 15 (fingers-crossed) when bans are lifted and live shows can resume. In the meantime, the Poodle Pack continues working with film teams to bring their performances to life because "The show must go on.” In doing so, we can all continue supporting our queer spaces.

If you find yourself with little to do on a Tuesday night, join the Poodle Pack in the heart of Victoria for a night of drag on screen.

Shows start at 8pm, and seating is first come, first served. Show up early so as not to be disappointed. I know I won’t be. Not with a double order of dumplings and a “Persi Flage” cocktail to wash it down.

Brandon is a 2-Spirited, Queer Art Enthusiast, volunteering his time and energy to support artists, both in front and behind the curtain. Professionally he is a Counsellor serving the Greater Victoria Area.

(Image Credit: The Vicious Poodle Staff/Socrates)