Emma Bourke

Over lockdown, I’ve been inspired by the many different ways you can create unusual lighting designs from everyday household objects. I wanted to showcase all I have discovered, adding in a splash of Drag, as I specialise in queer theatre.

Emma's proposal 

Drag Me Up is a 60-second transformation into a Drag King that highlights the euphoric rush of finding oneself during a time of isolation.

The piece is lit solely by torch light and incorporates coloured gels, glitter, fairy lights and shadow puppetry, as the audience follows the journey of ‘woman’ to ‘man’. You will see the process of binding, facial hair styling and outfit assembly, with the last shot being the final ‘look’.

It’s an experimental visual performance that uses household objects to create lighting effects that should inspire audiences to explore how they can create art from everyday items, alongside promoting freedom of self-expression.

About the artist

Deconstructing stereotypes and social norms through the lens of comedy, alongside offering a voice of validation and representation for those without, are at the forefront of Emma's work. Emma began making LGBTQ+ shows in 2018 with Emma's theatre company, Chaotic Neutral. Sex-Ed Cabaret tackled the taboo of LGBTQ+ inclusion in school-age sex education with party games, drag and glitter. It performed at FUSE Festival and Worcester Pride. Emma's solo show, ACE, premiered at Shout Festival 2020, explored the world of sexuality from the perspective of someone who experiences no sexual attraction.   

Emma loves the flamboyance, the quirkiness and the inclusivity of LGBTQ+ theatre and how it creates a safe environment for anyone of any race/gender/sexuality to be unequivocally and unashamedly themselves.