Dress­ing up for MCQP is no drag

Cos­tumes a big part of the event for partygoers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - HENRIËTTE GELDENHUYS

DRAGONS are be­ing cre­ated lov­ingly by hand, Ninja out­fits and panda bears are in de­mand, and short black wigs have sold out at some party shops as Cape Town pre­pares for the big­gest cos­tume party in the coun­try.

With this year’s theme “Maid in China”, the 18th an­nual Mother City Queer Project (MCQP) party is ex­pected to at­tract be­tween 8 000 and 10 000 party- an­i­mals to the Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre next Satur­day.

Among the teams pre­par­ing for what MCQP pro­duc­tion man­ager Gareth Dal­las de­scribes as a “mam­moth event that em­bod­ies cre­ativ­ity” are the Dolly La­mas, Luce Lees, Ho­mos in Ki­monos and a sweet- and- s our- pork- and­chicken team.

Mak­ing and buy­ing out­fits and ac­ces­sories is a big fun part of the main event, which this year will have nine dance floors and 40 acts, in­clud­ing DJ Ryan Dent on the main floor.

To­wards the end of the week, party and fab­ric shops are sure to be filled with “freaked- out gays run­ning around look­ing for last-minute out­fits”, says Jayson Clark, a guest­house man­ager from Tul­bagh who will be at­tend­ing the party with his part­ner, event de­signer Mar­cel Au­gustyn.

The cou­ple, known as The Glit­ter Boys, are go­ing as “Poof the Magic Dragon” and had, by Thurs­day, com­pleted the main frame of their red- faced dragon.

They will be the pup­pet­mas­ters in­side the dragon. “The most im­por­tant thing is to get its head right and make sure we can dance in it,” says Clark.

Fairy­lights and 200m of gold and pink se­quins still need to be added to the cos­tume for it to be “truly fab­u­lous”, says Au­gustyn.

The pair, who are stay­ing in Wood­stock “dur­ing MCQP month” say they en­joy friends pop­ping in to see how far they’ve pro­gressed with their cos­tumes.

They con­sider them­selves ahead of sched­ule and ad­mit they frown on friends and fam­ily who refuse to make an ef­fort. “We’d rather spend a week mak­ing the dragon out­fit and have a great party than make lit­tle ef­fort and have a ter­ri­ble party,” says Clark.

Party Cor­ner, and Fancy Dress in Main Road, Sea Point, have sold out their short black wigs, while Mardi­gras in Bree Street still has some for hire.

Party Cor­ner shop at­ten­dant Yanga Mt­intsi­lana said he had sold many con­i­cal hats of the type worn by rice paddy work­ers in China, and added MCQP tick­ethold­ers were also buy­ing feather boas, feather dusters and Chi­nese fans.

Fancy Dress shop as­sis­tant Tara Leleu says French maid, Ninja and Ja­panese geisha out­fits and Chi­nese um­brel­las are in high de­mand.

And Cora Kahn from Mardi Gras said she had or­dered 10 more Ninja out­fits and swords plus many panda bears.

Leleu said she was sur­prised at the num­ber of for­eign vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing English and Ar­gen­tini­ans, in­quir­ing about MCQP out­fits.

But Dal­las said the party has al­ways at­tracted a big over­seas crowd, rep­re­sent­ing 15 per­cent of at­ten­dees.

The party caters for a queer­friendly crowd, of which 40 per­cent are gay and 60 per­cent straight, said Dal­las.

Per­form­ers, in­clud­ing Drag DJ Spin­sista Mitzi, are also ex­cited about tak­ing part.

“It gets com­pet­i­tive among the queens. Some peo­ple get tacky. I need to be com­fort­able,” said Mitzi, who has at­tended nine MCQPS.

Blonde teenage band Mille and Mie, The Soap­girls, and sing and dance group Lady­li­cious, said they were look­ing for­ward to per­form­ing.

MCQP tick­ets are avail­able from Com­puticket at R260 and VIP tick­ets at R420. At the door prices are R300 to en­ter and R470 for a VIP ticket.

SEXY BLONDES: Mille and Mie, whose band The Soap­girls will per­form at the Mother City Queer Project party next Satur­day.

PIC­TURES: LEON LESTRADE

GO­ING ALL OUT: Jayson Clark, left, and his part­ner, Mar­cel Au­gustyn, with the dragon out­fit they’re mak­ing for the Mother City Queer Project (MCQP) party.

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