DIZNEY IN DRAG: ONCE UPON A PARODY to Open the Underbelly Festival in Cavendish Square

Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody is a fantasy-driven, tongue-in-cheek comedy show that warps the classic “Hero's Journey” into a modern fairytale of self-discovery.

By: Jun. 10, 2024
DIZNEY IN DRAG: ONCE UPON A PARODY to Open the Underbelly Festival in Cavendish Square
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A gender-bending pantomime romp through beloved fairytales told with drag performers giving (and receiving) positive lessons on respect, healthy masculinity, periods, and sex positivity. Australian cabaret troupe The Hairy Godmothers will give London audiences a healthy dose of nostalgia and a side-serving of the feel-goods before heading up to Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody is a fantasy-driven, tongue-in-cheek comedy show that warps the classic “Hero's Journey” into a modern fairytale of self-discovery. As the wide-eyed protagonist goes on a quest to find their one true love, the X-rated queer pantomime discovers new sides of childhood favourite characters in a magical adventure complete with original parodied songs, fabulous costumes and A Whole New World of exotic props and questionable puns.

Performer and founding member of The Hairy Godmothers Alex Nissen said “We all grew up being immersed in Disney movies and loving the stories. As adults though, wanted to explore this idea of love and reposition it as self-acceptance through the lens of some of our favourite characters, reimagining them in the modern world”

Performer and co-founder Owen Merriman added “We lure people in with nostalgic excitement, crack their smiles open with stupidity and sassiness, and melt their hearts with messages of inclusivity and self-love. It is an absolute riot!”

Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody is the opening show of Underbelly Festival, taking over Cavendish Square from July – September. Offering a slice of Edinburgh Fringe in the heart of Central London, the cultural pop-up festival is a go-to destination to eat, drink and watch high quality culture. Underbelly Festival's famous Spiegeltent will once again take up residence in Cavendish Square, hosting world-class live entertainment from the best in circus, cabaret and comedy as well as children's and family friendly entertainment. The festival will serve up a delicious range of street food traders, open air bars, and plenty of space to socialise, with deckchairs and picnic seating throughout.

The Hairy Godmothers is a motley crew of West Australians who have a diverse range of backgrounds as engineers, doctors, science presenters, actors, lawyers, dancers, teachers, and poets. They came together as friends in 2019 to write Fringe shows and have gone on to tour Australia, Europe and the UK over the last 5 years. As a collective they aim to educate through entertainment and overall give everyone a fun night out!

Underbelly is a UK-based live entertainment company founded in 2000 by Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood that specialises in producing and programming ground-breaking theatrical productions and the creation of city-centre cultural events and festivals across the UK, USA, Asia & beyond. Underbelly, alongside ATG Productions, is the lead and originating producer of the Olivier Award winning Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, now in its third year in the West End. Recent productions also include The McOnie Company's Nutcracker at the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club at Southbank Centre, La Clique in Manchester & London, Cabaret Royale at the Gaillard Center in Charleston and the inaugural headline show at Underbelly Boulevard, Club Kabarett.

Underbelly Boulevard, their first permanent venue, opened in 2023 in the heart of Soho presenting and producing an outstanding variety of cabaret, comedy, circus, music and theatre. Live Events include West End Live presented by Westminster City Council and SOLT, Pride in London, Christmas in Leicester Square, Skate West End, Edinburgh's Christmas, Edinburgh's Hogmanay and Underbelly Festival on London's Southbank, at Earl's Court and in Cavendish Square. In 2024, Underbelly will produce produce The McOnie Company's The Artist, Tweedy's Massive Circus beginning a UK-wide tour at The RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon and the 20th anniversary of La Clique in Edinburgh and London. One of the largest producers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Underbelly is proud to have previously presented Fleabag in 2013, Six in 2018, Rob Madge's My Son's a Queer, (But What Can You Do?) in 2022 and Kathy & Stella Solve a Murder in 2023.

Running time: 60 mins (no interval) | Suitable for ages 18+

Performance Details: 

Written and directed by The Hairy Godmothers Collective

Audio and lighting Ben Kay

Costume Alex Nissen


The Hero (they/them) Jae West             The Hairy Godmother (she/her) Owen Merriman

Areola, Teacup (she/her) Alex Nissen    Miss White (she/her) TBC

Pan (he/him), Grandmamma Willow (she/her), Prince #1 (he/him), Grumpy (he/him) Ashley

Tinkerbell (she/her), Teapot (she/her), Sleazy (he/him) Mita Hill

Jazz (she/her), Man #1 (he/him), Madame Featherduster (she/her) TBC

Strap-on (he/him), Monsieur Derrière (he/him), Dopey (he/him) Emma MacMillan

*please note that the pronouns relate to the characters

Listings information

4 – 14 July,

Underbelly Festival Cavendish Square, Oxford Street, London W1C

Tues – Weds 7pm, Thurs – Sat 7pm & 9pm, Sun 6pm

Tickets from £18 | www.underbellyfestival.co.uk | 0844 545 8252


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