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Rosie as Rosie Lugosi



Rosie Garland


‘The Girl You Never Loved But Always Looked For.' Rosie Lugosi, Lesbian Vampire Queen - Performing the monstrous-feminine.

Drag and Dis-ease.



Rosie Garland



In this paper I propose to examine the following:

  • ‘Quintessential outsider'

I shall trace the source & inspiration for the costume performance alter-ego of Rosie Lugosi - examining the crossover images of vampires / queers / women as outsiders / outcasts / abject.

  • How Rosie Lugosi physically embodies the monstrous-feminine through the outward trappings of the dominatrix-vampire-crone.

-Performing the tensions that women feel about how ‘real' women are represented in society/media.

-Performing the ‘crone'…. Transgressing age boundaries (eg; how women are supposed to dress at a particular age)

  • ‘Performing the ‘feminine' and performing it all wrong.'

Reflecting on radical drag - Rosie Lugosi as a (unique) female drag queen - a woman dressed up as a woman.

  • ‘Stupid bitch?'

Going beyond the ‘bad girl'.

Reclaiming/redefining the ‘slut'.

How Rosie Lugosi terrifies because she is intelligent yet performs ‘slut'.

  • ‘How queer is queer? - lesbians don't dress like THAT.'

How Rosie Lugosi transgresses notions and perceptions of how lesbians perform and present ‘lesbianism' to straight and queer communities.

  • ‘I do hope you are all sitting uncomfortably…'

Sado-masochism and laughter.

Using comedy to subvert notions of normative sexuality and gender-specific behaviours.




Rosie Garland performs as Rosie Lugosi, the Vampire Queen, Cabaret chanteuse, incomparable compere and electrifying poet. Carol Ann Duffy has described her as: ‘Hugely entertaining, tough-talking … a celebration of female sexuality, of power and liberation'. Rosie has an eclectic writing and performance history, ranging from singing in 80s Goth band The March Violets, to her current incarnation as Rosie Lugosi the Vampire Queen, electrifying performance poet. As well as three solo collections of poetry ( Hell and Eden , Coming Out At Night and Creatures of the Night ), her award-winning short stories, poems and essays have been widely anthologised. Mapping the Interior , her first novel, is currently with an agent. She has won both the Erotic Oscar for Performance Artist of the Year and the Diva Award for Solo Performer.



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