Taipei’s first drag king crew is staging WE THREE KINGS, a pantomime, for Christmas celebration on Saturday. Formed in April, 2019, the crew has swelled in numbers, with several new faces making a debut in the show.

Pantomime is commonly played by community theaters over the holiday season. Originating in England and popular throughout the Commonwealth, the form of comedy encourages audience participation and typically includes singing, dancing, slapstick, and employs gender bending actors, typically drag queens.

“This drag show is a first. We love to push the boundaries of drag, expanding on the typical consecutive lip syncing battle to bring in more real storytelling,” said N̂g Tâilé, who performs as Eggs Essential Crysus in the show. “Drag for me always points back to owning our vulnerabilities and living them proudly. I’m super excited for everyone to see the foolishness we have to bring.”

In this drag pantomime, the three kings follow the star on their way to presenting the greatest show, but the road to glory is paved with obstacles. In an original production by director Liting Tan, a directing MFA graduate from the Taipei National University of the Arts, whose work revolves around gender expression and identity, the three kings and a few villains take revelers on a delightful journey filled with song, dance, and more than a little bit of trickery.

Coupled with Red Room’s delicious plant based menu, the drag brunch is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. Participants will enjoy a wide variety of plant based pastas, sandwiches, falafel, as well as sweet treats and selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The event will also serve to collect donations for Harmony Home, an NGO in Taiwan and China that helps children born to mothers with AIDS, and who may have AIDS themselves. In Taiwan the focus of Harmony Home has shifted to children born to migrant workers, many of whom are abandoned at birth to the orphanage and cannot apply for Taiwanese nationality or repatriation.

The organization also wishes to collect diapers and formula. “We have to care for more than 150 children (mostly 0-6 years old) every day. We consume a lot of baby diapers and milk-powder for the ages from newborn to 2 year-old,” a spokesperson for Harmony House said.

“Taiwan’s creative and LGBTQIA+ friendly culture has made it possible for the drag scene to flourish, giving birth to a diverse set of drag performers.” Tan said, who is taking the role of Uncle Southside Tingles in the show.

“I am very excited for our first all drag king drag brunch and the chance to have it at Red Room’s beautiful venue. Watch out Taipei, here comes some serious talent.” said performer Calvin Twatley. Willie Banger, played by performing arts instructor Sheli Squire, echoes the sentiment, saying “I'm super excited to be in this new kind of drag + play show! I've done drag for many years, but never like this.”

The show also features vegan activist and performer Darice Chang, who takes the stage as heavy metal rocker Dan Dan Demolition. “I am a total vegan foodie and very much look forward to terrifying, I mean, entertaining our audience and enjoying a hot plant based meal after.”

The fresh faces are looking forward to the debut. “Everything has been fun!” said Lil Knot E, the latest addition to the crew. Jess Aleigha, who plays baby Oliver, said, “as a newcomer to both Taipei and to the world of drag, I’ve seen the vulnerability and artistry with which the Drag Royals of Taipei perform, and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work together for the first time. Our aim is to bring you the greatest show we can: something delightfully authentic, refreshing, and fun!”

Event Info

December 18, 2021
Doors open at 12 p.m.
Red Room Rendezvous, No. 252 Keelung Road Section 2, Da’an District, Taipei City 106
Tickets: NT$500 (inclusive of 1 drink)
10% off Red Room’s menu with ticket

Featuring: Uncle Southside Tingles (Liting Tan), Willie Banger (Sheli Squire), Eggs Essential Crysus (Ng Taile), Calvin Twatley (Callie Dawn), Oliver Trip (Jess Aleigha), Dan Dan Demolition (Darice Chang), and Lil Knot E (Ange Wang)

Harmony Home: HH is mostly a home for orphans, some of whom live with AIDS. Many of them are migrant workers' children, who have almost no rights (and no ability to get a legal ID in Taiwan). These kids are sometimes dropped off at 1 day old in a bundle at the door. It’s a difficult life, but HH tries to make the kids’ lives happy and fulfilling.

Donations Accepted:
All sizes of diapers are welcome, size M, L, and XL most needed.
Milk powder, No. 1 (for newborns to one year-old) and No. 3 (for infants 1 - 3 years-old).
Food, baby food, and other daily necessities, such as cloth detergents, baby shampoo, and baby lotion.
Due to the pandemic, prevention equipment and materials like face masks, alcohol for sanitary measures and Covid home-testing kits are welcome as well.

TNL Editor: Bryan Chou, Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)

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