Reviews & Features
What they are saying...
interview with DRESSED AS A GIRL director & cast RuPaul's Drag Con
Interview with the director and talent of the 'Dressed as a Girl' documentary at RuPaul's Dragcon 2016 WATCH THE INTERVIEW
Interview with Amber, Holestar & Sizzle
Mark J Freeman
Mark J Freeman interviews 3 of the stars of UK Documentary film, "Dressed As A Girl" directed by Colin Rothbart. Holestar, Amber Waze, and John Sizzle at Drag Con 2016. WATCH THE INTERVIEW
Interview director Colin Rothbart at Drag Con 2016 Afterbuzz T
Mark J Freeman
Afterbuzz TV host Mark J Freeman talks with director Colin Rothbart about his new UK Documentary film "Dressed As A Girl" Starring Holestar, Amber Waze, & John Sizzle. WACTH THE INTERVIEW
Video Interview with Holestar, Amber & Sizzle
V3TV visits RuPaul's DragCon & speaks with the cast of 'Dressed As A Girl' to discuss their film, their transition into their lifestyle. YOU CAN WATCH THE INTERVIEW
DragCon 2016: Dressed As A Girl Cast/Director Interview
Here's an interview from the Second Annual DragCon, with cast members as well as the director/writer of Dressed As A Girl. The film was directed/written by Colin Rothbart, and stars Amber Waze, John Sizzle, Holestar, Jonny Woo, Scottee, and Pia Arbor. CLICK TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW
Meet Holestar, the Victor/Victoria of London Drag Scene
In “Victor/Victoria,” Julie Andrews takes Paris by storm as the title character, a woman posing as a man pretending to be a woman. “I was inspired by that film,” says Holestar, one of the best-known fabulously painted faces from London’s alternative drag scene, who has the unusual distinction among the drag performers as having been born female. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Dressed as a Girl Feature
If you are unfamiliar with the alternative drag scene in London's vibrant East End, then discovering the extraordinary performance artist Jonny Woo -- who had been the ringmaster of it all for the past decade -- is quite an eyeopener. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Life Can Be A Drag
Life can be a drag. Ask Liza Minnelli . . . or any of the drag queens who “do” her. Better yet, take a glance at “Dressed as a Girl”, a diversely entertaining and insightfully heartfelt documentary into the UK Alternative Drag Scene. In his feature film debut, director Colin Rothbart rips off the wigs and wipes away the mascara to find the real people behind the figureheads of East London’s much-hyped alternative drag scene. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
New Documentary Reveals the Private Lives of Drag Queens.
There are moments of brilliance in Colin Rothbart’s new documentary Dressed As A Girl. The British filmmaker focuses his camera lens on the denizens of the underground drag scene in London’s East End. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Dressed as a Girl @ Dragcon
This new film from World of Wonder strips off the wigs and makeup to reveal the personal side of East London’s alternative drag scene. A spiritual successor to Paris Is Burning and The Cockettes, Dressed as a Girl was filmed over a six-year-period and offers unique insights in trailblazing performers like Jonny Woo, Holestar, Scottee, Amber Waze, Pia Arber and John Sizzle. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
We Spoke With Stars of London's Drag Scene
Unlike many drag-focused documentaries, there’s no fucking around inDressed As A Girl. We start in 2003, and pilled-up queens are sprawling about the floor on a Sunday afternoon, shouting numbers and dirty dancing while their audience looks on in delight. It’s their legendary gay bingo party. (There’s a lot of gay, not much bingo.)
But what drives the drag that these guys have been celebrating? READ THE FULL ARTICLE
The best LGBT movies of 2015
This BTS extravaganza by Colin Rothbart shows you just how much they live and breathe their art. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
The LGBT film highlights of 2015
Documentaries gave us some intriguing perspectives of very different gay lives. Dressed as a Girl documented the thriving east London gay scene, which continues on even as venues close across the capital. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
5 Best Gay Films of 2015
The film follows their lives for almost six years, from festivals (Glastonbury) to the dark and dank clubs in East London. For anyone with a slightly passing interest in drag politics, this film offers a bit of insight into the world of drag, and it does so in an entertaining and engaging way. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Dressed As a Girl review – Hi-NRG birds of paradise perform
Colin Rothbart’s dispatch from London’s flourishing drag community initially threatens to be all tits and teeth: a whirlwind tour of a scene that needs scant encouragement to pop on a frock and extensively self-document. Once the film-maker returns to his subjects off-hours, however, he identifies as much subtle and cherishable variation as there is among birds of paradise. READ THE FULL REVIEW
4 Star Review in Total FIlm
"Director Colin Rothbart handles the material sensitively and keeps the tone light, while the lack of a narrator ensures a sense of intimacy and authenticity, allowing the subjects to speak for themselves." READ FULL REVIEW
Dressed as a Girl Review: Sight and ound
Colin Rothbart's warm, thoughtful and engaging portrait of a group of people united by a liking for drag performance acts as a kind of palate cleanser, reminding us that whatever off-the-peg political factions individuals might choose to align with, ultimately every single story is bespoke. The first act, in which our grotesquely glamorous host Jonny Woo introduces a group of hedonistic frenemies with variable artistic skills and stupendous drug appetites, hints at self-indulgence there's only so much fun to be had watching other people get wasted. But the film matures startlingly as it progresses, skilfully picking out what's most fascinating about its central characters and their contrasting journeys through early adulthood. READ FULL REVIEW
Dressed As A Girl : Film Review - The London Economic
Colin Rothbart’s documentary Dressed As A Girl has already been lauded as the ‘the Brit equivalent of Paris is Burning’ (Beige magazine), an accolade indeed and one that made me want to watch it immediately. Dressed As A Girl explores similar ground to Paris is Burning, showcasing as it does both the fabulous personas of its’ performance artists on stage, as well as their more fragile, complex off stages lives. READ FULL REVIEW
Dressed as a Girl Review
Supposedly we call crossdressing “drag” because it’s a Shakespearean shorthand for “dressed as a girl”. Actually as an assertion it’s completely unsupported, but that’s no great matter: the main theme of the film is the dressing-up of the crass simplicity of drag performance as something Shakespearean in stature – or rather to locate its roots within that milieu. READ THE FULL REVIEW
Win Dressed as a Girl DVD
London’s alternative East End drag phenomenon gets its moment in this fabulous account of six years in the lives of its most celebrated performers. See Jonny Woo, John Sizzle, Holestar, Scottee, Amber, Pia and Ma Butcher dazzle, surprise and outrage audiences with their antics on-stage and behind the scenes. ENTER THE WIN
Win DVD - Big Gay Picture Show
The gay-themed drag documentary Dressed As A Girl is released on DVD in the UK from November 23rd courtesy of Peccadillo Pictures, and we’ve teamed up with them to give away three copies of the movie in this competition! London’s alternative East End drag phenomenon gets its moment in this fabulous account of six years in the lives of its most celebrated performers. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Filmed over six years in the clubs and on the streets of East London, Colin Rothbart's Dressed as A Girlmingles glamour and high drama with much more personal perspectives on showbusiness. As it comes to DVD, we ask the director how he came to take on this notoriously challenging subject and how the film developed as it did. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Britflick 4 Star Review
Jane A Foster
Everything you wanted to know about East London’s Drag Queens and much, much more. As the famous Shakespeare quote from Midsummer Night’s Dream at the end, (with a little adaptation!) aptly describes, ‘If we mortals have offended, say but this, and all is mended – ‘That, you have but slumbered here, whilst we drag queens did appear’, is an unflinching look at a serious subject, but one which has a very fanciful and imaginative front. READ FULL REVIEW
Amber Waze Interview
“For even one person to see this and be inspired or encouraged would just be amazing.” – Amber Waze
In 2009, filmmaker and producer Colin Rothbart began investigating the drag scene that was rapidly growing throughout London’s East End. He soon began documenting the lives of six drag artists over a six-year process, which eventually became the fascinating and vital documentary, Dressed As A Girl – a huge hit on the UK festival front. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Win Dressed as a Girl on DVD
To mark the release of Dressed as a Girl on 7th December, we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on DVD. ENTER HERE
Interview with director Colin Rothbart
Filmed over a six year period, Colin Rothbart’s inspiring big screen debut, Dressed as a Girl, is a humorous, affectionate tribute to the alternative drag scene of East London that acknowledges the darker moments in the journeys taken by its subjects. When Rothbart spoke to FilmDoo, the director shared his thoughts on the new documentary and the scene that it chronicles. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
One on One With John Sizzle
I was lucky enough to interview my favorite of the films personae John Sizzle a perfect balance of DJ, Drag Queen, landlord (The Glory) and furniture upholsterer…READ FULL INTERVIEW
Jonny Woo talks Dressed as a Girl
Gay Times Magazine
This Sunday, October 4, is ‘Drag Day’. VUE Cinemas, Showcase cinemas and POUTFest have teamed up to bring the hilarious new “frockumentary”, Dressed as a Girl, to cinemas across the UK. We sat down with Jonny Woo, star of the doc, to chat about drag, drugs and the future of gay London. READ THE FULL INTERVIEW
London Calling Interview
Dressed as a Girl takes an insider look at the personalities and lives central to East London’s vibrant alternative drag scene. London Calling talks to Director Colin Rothbart ahead of the screening (and glitter filled after-party) as part of the East End Film Festival 2015.
I Love The Nightlife Review
Chris Park for Canal-St Online
The film is searingly honest in examining what drives our heroes dealing with issues such as living with HIV, substance abuse, damaged upbringings and mental illness, making the viewer fall in love with each person in their own way. READ THE FULL REVIEW
Interview with ‘Dressed as a Girl’ Director Colin Rothbart
Front Row Reviews
What was the catalyst to make a documentary about drag performers? I was on holiday with Holestar – one of the stars of the film – back in Goa in 2009 and she said we should make a British version of ‘Paris is Burning’ as there hadn’t really been a film about the UK underground, alternative scene. READ THE FULL INTERVIEW
Despite its tagline of 'high hopes, high heels, high drama', the 'Frockumentary of the year' Dressed as a Girl is not quite the feel-good celebration of East London drag culture you might expect. Instead, London-based director Colin Rothbart offers an intimate and personal portrait of the people behind the glitter and costumes. READ THE FULL REVIEW
The Business of Drag: We Talked to Some of London's Biggest Drag Queens About the Scene in 2015
INTERVIEW WITH JOHN SIZZLE AND HOLESTAR
"I'm going on holiday and I'm happy to say there's no drag in the bag," says East London DJ and drag queen John Sizzle, who is finally giving himself a week off. We're sitting in The Glory, a gay pub in east London co-run by John and fellow performer Jonny Woo. READ FULL INTERVIEW
Jonny Woo Talks
We caught up with Dressed As A Girl’s pontificating, prancing protagonist Jonny Woo to get a bit of a background on the film and how it’s been received. Critically acclaimed frockumentary Dressed As A Girl was the talk of the queer cinema scene when it premiered at The British Film Institute in March. Read the full article.
It seems that Woo's influences must have been Andy Warhol's whole Factory scene as his work is reminiscent of that on several levels. Closer to home though what is clear from this compelling movie is that his highly original gang are the true successors to the glorious era of Leigh Bowery and Boy George in the 1980's when London once revelled in true alternative style. Read the full review.
This film is brilliant in so many ways. Colin directed the film as though we were in the palm of each storyteller’s hands. The way the documentary plays out, it is almost as if Colin, along with producer Chris Amos, sat down and plotted every single detail out. They then got the film’s crew together and brought every carefully plotted detail to life. The amount of effort that went into the creation of the documentary is apparent. Read the full review.
One of the highlights will be director Colin Rothbart’s directorial debut, Dressed As A Girl. Colin, 42, is usually to be found working on shows like The Apprentice and I’m A Celebrity but six years ago he took a chance and decided to document the lives of seven flamboyant characters on East London’s alternative scene. Read the full article and interview.
Colin Rothbart’s documentary explores east London’s alternative drag scene. Peccadillo Pictures has secured distribution of Colin Rothbart’s documentary Dressed As A Girl for the UK and Ireland. Read the full article.
"Dressed as a Girl: the inside story of East London’s alternative drag scene"
East End Film Festival to screen this moving tale of lipstick and counterculture starring the likes of Jonny Woo and Holestar. Being a drag queen is about saying “fuck you” to everyone else, declares DJ John Sizzle to the camera at the start of Dressed as a Girl, a new documentary about East London’s alternative drag scene. Read the full article.
"Filmmaker ended up in relationship with Jonny Woo after setting out to make drag movie"
Prime time TV producer Colin Rothbart set out to make a film celebrating the East End’s vibrant drag scene, which premieres at the East End Film Festival this week. Read full article.
"Dress Like A Girl is a touching and poignant in-depth look at the eccentrics and visionaries who make up the distinct East London drag scene. The documentary follows various key moments in the lives of queer family through festivals, performances, parties, and protests entwined with impudent narration by Jonny Woo." Read the full review.
"Dressed As A Girl is a funny, moving and insightful documentation of the alternative drag scene in East London. Woven in between preparations and performances, key artistes share their life stories, from the highs to the lows. It's got plenty of drag and lots of laughs. Awesome."
"Sassy, defiant, freaky and unapologetically queer, Dressed as a Girl packs a surprisingly powerful punch. Don’t be surprised if in the future it’s cited as the Brit equivalent of Paris is Burning." Read the full review.
"Dressed as a Girl is a record of the East London scene of recent times, coupled with a character piece about vulnerable people putting up a helluva front. It is a triumph." Read the full review.
"An honest and hugely enjoyable exploration of a fascinating group of performers and artists that has been made with genuine care and respect"
"These London superstars fearlessly open up about their various encounters with sex, drink, drugs, emotional and mental struggles, plastic surgery and HIV. "
"Entertaining and enlightening: a film about finding the strength to take control of your life"
"Dressed As A Girl: grabs you from the get-go, energetic & gives the Alternative Miss World a run for its money...then again, it feels like the next generation of Alternative Miss World, which is fitting"