Monday, January 30 – The Society Film Club returns to The Sanctum Hotel (private cinema, downstairs), The Society Film Club proudly presents an evening celebrating The Cockettes with special guest star Jonny Woo
TIME: Starts at 7pm
PRICE: £5 for members, £10 for non-members.
VENUE: The Sanctum Hotel (20 Warwick Street, Soho, London W1B 5NF)
”Well, the Cockettes were basically complete sexual anarchy, which is always a wonderful thing.” -John Waters
On New Year’s Eve, 1969, a flamboyant troupe of gender bending artists took the stage of San Francisco’s famed Palace Theater, they kicked-up their heels, wowed the crowd with their flamboyant garb and nudity, and when the bearded chorus girls lifted up their frilly skirts to reveal glittering genitalia, The Cockettes were born. For the next few years, this performance troupe became an underground phenomenon, performing shows with titles such as “A Crab on Uranus Means You’re Loved”, “Pearls over Shanghai” and “Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma”, but when The Cockettes hit the Big Apple, the outcome was surprisingly disastrous. Nevertheless, their influence was clear and while The Cockettes disbanded a few years into the 1970s, they left an indelible influence on popular culture and lit the way for the glitter rock era that was to come. The Cockettes also helped launch the careers of Divine (who performed the song ‘The Crab at the Center of Uranus” while dressed as a lobster) and disco wonder Sylvester.
Directors Bill Weber and David Weissman have painstakingly gleaned and layered amazing archival footage, including Divine and Sylvester, and wove in interviews with those who remember the shows first-hand. The result is a stunning film that captures not only the history of the Cockettes, but their essence.
Nominated for the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and winner of the LA Film Critics Award for best documentary of 2002, the film was praised as ‘wildly entertaining” (Rolling Stone) and “inspiring” (Empire).
Our presenter for the evening will be none other than Jonny Woo.
Jonny Woo, crowned the Shoreditch Ringmaster by The New York Times, a Tranny Superstar byTime Out and the bastard lovechild of Kenny Everett by the Times, is one of London’s leading performers on the alternative gay and straight club and cabaret scenes. He has been resident artist at Bistrotheque since it’s creation and has taken four shows onto The Soho Theatre and The Edinburgh Festival. He has taken his unique brand of entertainment onto The Royal Opera House, The Royal Festival Hall and is the host for the mainstage at LOVEBOX.
Jonny Woo will be taking you through creating the ultimate Cockette look and will be talking about how the legacy of The Cockettes has been an inspiration. Jonny was creating work and exploring drag before his introduction to the Cockettes so he will also be talking about how the alternative drag scene has similarities with that of 70′s San Francisco. To finish off Jonny will perform excerpts from his repertoire of original spoken word and song, all in fabulous Cockette inspired style.