Kiwi drag queens to attempt world record
Sun, 08 Jul 2012 9:58a.m.
By 3 News online staff
It will be a beauty pageant like no other. Men will be dressed as women, women will be dressed as men, and they will be attempting to set a world record in the process.
The Queen of the Whole Universe (QWU) show has now been running for a decade, with performers representing the nation of their choice. The prize at stake is the Queen’s crown, with past winners including Miss Russia, Miss Transylvania and Miss Brazil.
Organiser Jonathan Smith launched the pageant 10 years ago, and says its success has gone far beyond his anticipations.
“It has exceeded my expectations,” he says. “I expected it would run for two or three years, but this is way beyond the dream I initially had.”
The show has set records in the past, and Mr Smith says this year organisers are aiming to set a new Guinness world record for the world’s largest drag queen stage show.
They will be breaking their own record – the QWU show set the current world record in 2009. Before QWU the record was held by a New York stage show held in 1985.
Mr Smith says there is also a serious side to the pageant however.
“It’s about community involvement, and also raising self-awareness and self-confidence within our community,” he says. “It’s also to raise money for HIV/AIDS charity, and thirdly to bridge communities together.”
The show has raised around $175,000 for charity over the past 10 years. That amount is expected to top $200,000 after this year’s show, which will be the last one.
Mr Smith says it is important that the pageant finishes on a high note.
“We have been exceedingly successful, and I want to finish it on a high, and I think it’s time to put it to bed,” he says. “It’s a lot of work, and I’d much prefer to finish it on the biggest high we’ve ever got.”
The finale show will be at 8pm at the Aotea Centre on Saturday July 21. Ticketing information is available on the Queen of the Whole Universe website.
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