Dianna Tunne’l has a bite with CWA president Lynn Savage (right) and Shirley McDonald.
Dianna Tunne’l has a bite with CWA president Lynn Savage (right) and Shirley McDonald. Claudia Baxter

CWA to host drag queen gigs

THEY are regarded as queens of the kitchen, but the Ipswich Country Women's Association has not had too many dealings with drag queens.

Until now that is. The Out West drag nights held each month at Murphy's Town Pub in Ipswich CBD have proved so popular that the event has had to find a new home.

Peter Robinson, who appears on stage as Dianna Tunne'l, said he was thrilled when the Ipswich CWA agreed to allow the Out West gay and lesbian group to host its drag nights in its hall in Limestone St every third Saturday.

He said CWA president Lynn Savage had embraced the idea of the group performing at the hall, and he was delighted his group had been accepted by such pillars of the community.

“Over the last three years we have come a long way,” Ms Tunne'l said.

“The acceptance shown by Ipswich has been fantastic.

"The group has grown so much and there are so many more possibilities for the show with a bigger venue.”

The group now has close to 400 members on Facebook, as well as 60 paying members.

Mrs Savage said she was happy to have the group based at the hall.

“Everyone is quite welcome,” she said.

“They seem like a nice group.”

She said CWA members typically took on craft classes and the hall also catered for functions.

But it was all a bit much at times for long-time member Shirley McDonald.

The 79-year-old Raymonds Hill resident will celebrate her 80th birthday tomorrow and had never encountered a drag artist before Ms Tunne'l dropped into the CWA.

“It is something I will remember for the rest of my life,” Mrs McDonald said.

“They seem lovely and have got a good sense of humour.”

Mrs McDonald, who arrived at the venue expecting just an early birthday celebration, said she had got a shock seeing Ms Tunne'l and sidekick Charity Case.

“The CWA gave me a lovely cake and card and then I got to meet some drag queens,” she said.

“It was a surprise.”

Out West's Best of Stage and Screen production can be seen at the hall tomorrow from 7pm.

Tickets are available at the door and priced at $8 for members and $10 for non members.

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