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'They’re all mad in Galway, that’s why I feel so at home'

Thu, Aug 17, 2017

AlanAmsby. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

The inimitable and flamboyant Mr Pussy - the doyen of Ireland’s drag acts - was in Galway last weekend for a performance at the Róisín Dubh as part of Club GASS’s Galway Pride events. On Saturday afternoon I met him for a chat about his colourful life, career, and many celebrity fans.

Last year Mr Pussy published his best-selling autobiography, Before I Forget To Remember (New Island Books) in which he recalls his early days as a drag princess and model in Swinging London; partying with Judy Garland, Noël Coward, and David Bowie; being heckled by one of the Kray twins – and snogging Danny La Rue. He also remembers grey 1980s’ Ireland, shocking the country with its first adult panto, and losing friends to the AIDs epidemic. Then there’s his 1990s’ renaissance, with Paul O’Grady and Daniel Day Lewis, and opening Mr Pussy’s world-famous Café de Luxe with Bono. Full of pathos, charm, and wit, it all adds up to a memorable story of a ground-breaking entertainer.

One reviewer of the book posed the question as to whether drag is "showbusiness, sexual appropriation of cartoon femaleness by men or an expression of gender fluidity?" I begin by asking Amsby his thoughts on that.


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