Technically Edinburgh is the Capital city of Scotland, but when it comes to having fun, then Glasgow is unquestionably the center of the country. None of the reserved airs of the ever-so-polite burghers of Edinburgh here , Glasgow is full of earthy honest humor often fueled by a pint or two, followed by a wee dram.
Therefore Glasgow was the perfect choice for BBC TV to head too for this delightful documentary about some of the working Drag Queens of Scotland. They are for the most part ‘old-school’ drag that come in all shapes and sizes and ages who just get such a kick out of being able to perform. Once they have had their taste of glamour for the week, it’s back to their days jobs. In one case its in a Government office , in another its is being in the Merchant Navy.
The documentary doesn’t actually start in Glasgow but on a Ferry Boat to the remote Isle of Bute. Two drag queens are on board enroute to be the special guests in the Island’s very first Pride Parade. Well actually only one, Barbara La Bush, made the Ferry. She is the self-proclaimed ‘oldest queen in Glasgow’ whose act is like traditional end-of-the-pier drag,
Her partner Lily Minogue took full advantage of the Bar she performed at last night, and now nursing a hangover, will have to catch the next ferry.
All of the Drag Queens that appear in this entertaining documentary possess the wonderful Glaswegian sense of humor, optimism and good naturedness that even the legendary ‘hard men’ of the city have. This shows not just in their performances but in the genuine camaraderie when they all get together.
Stephen aka Barbara La Bush’s desire to keep enjoying his gigs in gay bars and clubs is driven by a recent diagnosis of stomach cancer. Most of the others have no ambitions beyond entering the local Miss Scotland competition which turns out to be quite a laid back, albeit glittery, affair
Lawrence Chaney would like to become the first Drag Queen Stand Up Comic performing in mainly straight clubs. Voss who persuaded his reluctant parents to see him headline at Glasgow Pride (and who couldn’t leave quick enough) is happy enough to perform once a week until he does leave the Navy.
The cameras follow a trio of them when they go down to London to visit the big Drag Convention full of Drag Race Contestants making a mint by selling merchandise to fans. Asides from remarking on how much money was changing hands, the three Glaswegians seem to totally lack envy of these highly commercialised stars. It was both surprising and totally refreshing.
The joy of this wee documentary is both to remember and celebrate the true grassroots of drag queens . There is such a wealth of genuine talent that cannot be defined by the TV mainstream exploitation of art of drag.
P.S. The title of the film (Mother Tucker) also comes from the name of one of the most popular Drag Bars in Glasgow.