Quiplash – Unsightly Drag



A celebratory group shot of visually impaired drag artists, all dressed in a variety of colourful and outlandish costumes. Some people pose while others grin and have their hands in the air.


A cabaret with a difference, Unsightly Drag was presented by collaborating partners Extant, the UK’s leading visually impaired theatre company, and Quiplash, a queer crip (quip) led creative company supporting and taking up space for quip artists and audiences. Blind and visually impaired people from across the LGBTQIA spectrum took small steps and giant leaps into gender bending fabulousness, with Kings, Queens, and drag that defies definition all in one beautifully accessible performance.

Quiplash led this project in 2019 with support from Extant, Arts Council England, LADA and the National Theatre New Works Department. We held a two week R&D where 7 blind and visually impaired people, 3 drag performers, 2 audio description consultants (or access dramaturgs as we like to call them) and 3 access workers created a cabaret show that made drag accessible to learn and watch for blind and VI people. The point was to give queer blind and VI people the time and access support to learn how to do drag from putting on make up to creating a character. The drag performers got a crash course in working with blind and VI people. Everyone was tasked with creating an act that had integrated audio description embedded into it. We then had a sharing at Chapel Playhouse as part of Bloomsbury Festival that went extremely well.

In 2020 we did it again, this time with some of our blind and VI drags as well as some other disabled draggy friends to make a digital sharing over zoom. This was done for Blomsbury Festival with support from Extant and Grocer’s Hall. Though the format was different, the principle was the same. Everyone had integrated audio description in their act. Both shows also had British sign language and were run as relaxed events.


Stay up-to-date, join our mailing list

We only send occasional emails and you can easily unsubscribe. For more information, see our privacy policy