Words: Alastair James; videography: Markus Bidaux
The Vivienne and Blue Hydrangea hosted a drag ball in Swansea during a viewing for Netflix's I Like To Watch UK tour, which landed at Dorothys Showbar in Swansea.
Following brief visits to Might Hoopla festival, Margate, Bournemouth, Nottingham, Glasgow, and Hull Netflix’s hit YouTube series I Like To Watch UK hosted a roaring viewing party of the Will Ferrell fronted Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
Despite being a relatively new LGBTQ space in the Welsh city (after opening in September 2020) Dorothy's is certainly used to hosting big parties, and last Thursday (14 October) was no exception.
Drag Race UK icons The Vivienne and Blu Hydrangea were given a typically warm Welsh welcome in Wales' second city as they hosted a watch-a-long of the hilarious Netflix hit movie.
After the film the audience was treated to a drag ball with several local queens tearing up the dancefloor and performing for their lives. Blu gave an energetic performance of Loreen's 'Euphoria' before teaming up with her co-host The Vivienne to perform the Frock Destroyers iconic 'Break Up Bye Bye'.
We also found out could have been the UK's Eurovision entry for 2021 thanks to some delicious tea from Blu!
The night also saw performances from Diana D, who showed off her pipework with the ABBA classic 'Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)' and Olivia Hell who gave us a hot take on Katy Perry's 'I Kissed A Girl'.
Speaking to Cheddar Gorgeous before the show Blu Hydrangea said small bars, such as Dorothys and places back home in Northern Ireland, had played a big role in her career. "Prior to Drag Race [UK] that was just my whole career," she said.
"I love small bars and if it wasn't for them I probably wouldn't have ever had a stage to perform back in Belfast."
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The I Like To Watch UK tour has focused on finding smaller, local LGBTQ venues across the country as places to host its viewing parties. The kind of venues that may have struggled more during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, but that are vital to their LGBTQ communities.
For The Vivienne, the tour has reminded her of how amazing and varied the UK's queer venues are. "I mean, I already knew that," she tells Attitude. "But coming back to them and just having a ball and putting something on for free that people can come and enjoy in queer spaces has just been great," she added.
Joseph James, the owner of Dorothys, which has just turned one year old said he hoped the bar would help connect the people of Swansea to drag queens.
"There are a lot of places with, which aren't so well off in Swansea and so people's minds reopened up by places like this.
"When they see our drag queens out in the street, PR-ing and making them feel welcome. And then they [the people] come in and it normalises sexuality and gender for everybody."