For their Drag Night at Pleasance Cabaret Bar on Thursday evening, Edinburgh LGBT+ Medics promised an evening of ‘debauchery and queerness featuring talent from across the medical school’ – and they definitely delivered. Kicking off with an introduction from hosts Professor Mcgonococcal (Nicklas Brown) and Shish Kebabe (Garsha Seyf), both of whom performed for the first time ever on Thursday night, what followed was three hours of raucous Cabaret entertainment from LGBT+ medical students and their allies – all of which raised over £570 for the Rock Trust. The homelessness charity is close to their hearts, with a quarter of homeless young people in Scotland belonging to the LGBT+ community.
You would never have known that for many of the acts this was their first time performing in front of an audience. From Professor Mcgonococcol and Shish Kebabe’s hilarious anecdotes about coming out to their families, to Karyn Joss’s humbling spoken word account on the stigmas surrounding bisexuality, there was not a single act which didn’t exude the confidence and composure of a professional cabaret act.
We asked Garsha Seyf about Shish Kebabe, and how he developed her: “For my character, I think I was just being an exaggerated version of myself really. I was definitely going for a Persian vibe for my first look, we’re known for always wearing black. I was trying to be a bit more Ariana Grande for the second look in the lip sync.” Dressed head to toe in black, from wig to over-the-knee boots, Shish Kebabe dazzled the audience with his lip-sync to Ariane Grande, featuring a full onstage costume stage into a tasselled silver bikini. By this point, there were people crowding the doorway in an effort to see in – the event was so popular many people had to be turned away.
The playlist exuded girl power and LGBT+ love, from Britney to Cher. The audience was also treated to a Britney Spears lip-sync performance by drag queen Miss Jeni Tals (Sean O’Reilly), and a rendition of ‘Toxic’ by Professor Mcgonococcol and five male allies, all donning schoolgirl costumes and full drag make up. Serena Linley-Adams also performed Sluts: The Musical with Niamh Higgins, which follows one woman’s determined efforts to turn her straight friend gay.
Brown, aka Professor Mcgonococcol, had a large part to play in the organisation of the night, which incredibly took only a month to bring together. He said “I just want to express how much can be done with four weeks preparation with a such a talented group and their get-up-and-go spirit”. While University of Edinburgh Medics have hosted the similarly provocative Medics’ Reveal for years now, Edinburgh LGBT+ Medics have presented a noble contender on the university calendar which champions inclusivity, self-expression and the sound philosophy that you can never have too much glitter.
Medskool Drag Night
Thursday 27th September
The event raised funds for Rock Trust, find more information here
Image: Mallaika Viswanath