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Entertainment / Victoria Pier: Shetland’s own drag act to make her debut this weekend

AN EVENING of “alternative cabaret” will be hosted at Mareel tomorrow night (Saturday) – including a debut performance from a local drag artist.

Victoria Pier may already be familiar to folk that attended this year’s Pride celebrations. Towering tall in a bright blue jumpsuit and blonde wig, she is now ready to take to the stage for the first time.

“For quite a long time, I’ve watched a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race on the TV,” she told Shetland News.

“I’ve been to drag events down on the Scottish mainland before, so for a few years I’ve followed it on social media.”

Victoria Pier at this year’s Pride. Photo: Martin-John Turner

Victoria was then inspired to try drag herself after attending Shetland’s first Pride in 2022.

“I went along to the day, and the night show as well, and met some of the drag performers… from then I just thought I would give it a go.

“I ended up joining the performers during the day this year at Pride on the floats and at the village in the afternoon – that was my first outing and from then I’ve been practising.”

A good name is an important part of a drag artist’s character, and Victoria wanted to stick to something distinctly Shetland.

“I wanted something to do with Shetland, and I suppose Victoria Pier is quite a well-known part of Lerwick,” she said. “It’s something identifiable and relating to Shetland.”

Her debut will be part of the sold-out Make More Noise cabaret at Mareel on Saturday night.

She said: “I’m not going to give too much away, but there’ll be some lip-syncing, some dance moves I hope, maybe a couple of surprises in there, some music to get people in the party spirit.”

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Victoria will be joined on the bill by local band Odesa, comedian Marjolein Robertson, aerial performer Chrissie Ardill and bingo callers Timberlina and Aunt Maureen for an action-packed night.

“I’m quite excited now,” she said ahead of the big day. “I’ve been preparing and putting a huge amount of hours into it.

“I’m quite nervous as well about it. I’ve not ever performed as Victoria before, so that element is quite never-wracking.

“There will be something there for everybody…as the title says, I think it will be quite a noisy event.”

She added that she was a bit worried about the public’s perception of drag, however.

“We’ve had drag performers visiting, and having a Shetland drag artist is something quite different, but hopefully good,” Victoria said.

Victoria Pier, Skinny Minnie, Lily Minogue, Tianah Tucker and Rujazzle. Photo: Martin-John Turner

“I’m quite lucky to have so many creative people around me in my personal life. I’ve had a lot of support, whether it’s from sound, to costuming and makeup. [There has been] loads and loads to learn, but lots and lots of support.”

Organiser Shetland Arts has also been “really important” to Victoria.

“They contacted me after Shetland Pride and had asked me to be involved,” she said.

“They’ve been brilliant. I had no idea how much goes on in the background in terms of these kind of events. The sound, the lighting, the promotion, all these kinds of things.

“They’ve been really supportive and accommodating as well, because I’ve had a million questions.”

Victoria added that her loved ones have been “incredibly supportive” of her drag too and that much of the sold-out audience will be her family and friends.

“The fact that it’s sold out shows that there’s an appetite for my part of it, but also for the other performers which is really exciting,” she said.

“I’d like to see some sort of drag events happen locally. Shetland’s recognised for so much creativity and such a diverse range… there’s a space for drag here too.”

She also encouraged anyone that is interested in drag to just give it a try:

“There shouldn’t be rules about it and people should give it a go if they want to.

“It’s a creative outlet and I think lots of creativity and fun can come from it.”

Victoria’s hopes for the future include some performances in Orkney next year, Shetland Pride 2024 and more visits to the mainland – but no plans for Drag Race just yet.

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