Producer: Christopher Amos
Director: Colin Rothbart
Starring: Jonny Woo, Holestar, Amber, John Sizzle, Scottee, Pia
Executive Producers: Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato
The story of East London’s exciting drag scene with touching personal stories at its’ heart. Individuals questioning their friendships, family, and personal ambitions whilst dressing up to shock the world.
Following a near-death experience, Jonny Woo, the ringleader of East London and a founding member of the area’s unconscious 90s explosion, decided to pull his life together and became the self-elected commander of a new drag army. Shaking Shoreditch in a cloud of killer heels, glitter, and duct tape Woo and his cross-dressing clique became the McQueens of the night and a point of focus for the fashion press. A sextet of alternative stars are born: Jonny Woo, Scottee, Holestar, Pia, Amber, and John Sizzle.
After a brief introduction on the history of London’s alternative drag phenomenon from the key players themselves, Dressed as a Girl showcases its carousel of principal characters – and quickly emerges that each sequined clutch bag comes with its own cluster of secrets. Rothbart rubs away at the make-up to reveal the personal demons and paranoia that the paparazzi cannot capture.
For the next five years, in his feature film debut, Rothbart is given never-before-granted access into the private lives of East London’s elite, from boob jobs and breakdowns to religious battles and rape convictions, public sex, and private rows - all that glitters is not gold. We meet the cast’s parents too, the quiet unassuming cul-de-sacs that gave birth to London’s wackiest party animals. But, as unlikely as its cast, the film is a fast-paced comedy, and audiences are treated to a barrage of backstage in-jokes and raucous rumps at Lovebox Festival, Glastonbury notorious NYC Downlow and momentous events at The Royal Opera House, Hackney Empire and “The Shed”.
Dressed as a Girl is an inspirational and important documentary, occasionally heart-breaking, casually shocking, completely rocking and ceaselessly entertaining. Not only does the film’s insight give instruction to satellite gay communities, but it sends out a message to all creeds that when the party’s over - peace lies in being true to yourself.