Drag queens regret cancellation of ‘comedy and camp’ night after ‘sick’ complaints

Dr Panti Bliss-Carbera expresses disappointment as Carlow show is called off

The drag show was scheduled to take place at the Seven Oaks Hotel in Carlow

Drag queens have expressed their sorrow over the cancellation of an evening show in Co Carlow after “a small number of complaints” were received, including one that used the term “sick”.

Dr Panti Bliss-Cabrera, Ireland’s best-known drag artist, was among those to show support after the three-queen drag act scheduled to take place at the Seven Oaks Hotel on May 26th was withdrawn by the independent organiser.

The drag queens, Kara Kalua, Coco Ri and Sofia Good were booked to perform at a show billed on Facebook as “a night of comedy and camp! Lots of fun performances as well as your chance to werk [sic] the runway and show us your drag!!“. Posters described the show as “not to be missed, all are welcome”.

The evening was due to be an over-18s event beginning at 9pm.


Individuals were moved to send a number of complaints both to the independent organiser of the event and the hotel, following which the show was cancelled.

Drag artist Coco Ri took to social media to say: “A venue I was working for at the end of the month in Carlow got a few messages about this event with regards to kids being present at 9pm.”

The comment on Twitter was retweeted by Dr Panti Bliss-Cabrera.

The cancellation comes as a number of states in the United States have banned drag in various forms, and small protests have taken place in Ireland about daytime events known as “story hour”, in which drag queens read stories to children.

The drag queen’s management company Queens of the Party said the complaints had been “stupid” and confirmed that they erroneously referred to the possibility of children being present.

Charmin Eletrik of Queens of the Party told The Irish Times the drag queens were regularly booked to perform at two and three-hour shows which involved a lot of “singing, lip syncing and comedy”.

“There are regular shows in Drogheda and Dundalk and everybody has a good time,” said Ms Eletrik.

“The queens do these shows up and down the country to packed houses and it is good fun and there is never any trouble.”

She added that it was unfortunate that the queens were prevented from earning a living on this occasion.

The Seven Oaks hotel confirmed that complaints had been received. A spokesman said the show had not been cancelled by hotel but by the independent organiser who had withdrawn the booking. Drag show business was welcome in the future, a spokesman said.

The hotel also said there was never any question of children being at the event or in any of the function rooms at 9pm. It was “an over-18 event”, the spokesman said. Attempts to contact the independent organiser of the show were not successful.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist