Drag queen Veda using play to tackle prejudices
Enda McGrattan can bring a unique insight into playing the role of a drag queen in a play that will be performed in the Axis in Ballymum this month.
That's because he is known to many Dubliners as Veda Beaux Reves
A winner of Alternative Miss Ireland, Veda has previously supported the Scissors Sisters as part of indie rock group Daddy's Little Princess.
Enda frequently performs in The George, but this is the first time he has been involved in a theatre show.
"I am playing Aunty Ben, who is a drag queen who has recently taken on the role of surrogate father to his niece, after the break-up of his sister's marriage, and he is a working drag queen so that is how he pays his bills," said Enda.
He said that the nine-year-old Tracey - played by actress Amy Flood - is thrown into that lifestyle, which she loves until her friends at school become aware of it.
"The idea then is that Ben sets out to win the children over and just show Tracey that actually everybody can be whoever they choose to be," said Enda.
The play has garnered a very positive reception.
"What has been amazing is we got to go into the schools to perform it. The plan is to go to more schools and youth clubs. We have been received wonderfully.
"I myself, I suffered from a lot of discrimination and bullying and stuff when I was in school, so at the grand old age of 42, to be able to march into a school as Aunty Ben and teach the kids about inclusion and equality was an amazing opportunity," he said.
The show will be performed in the Axis Ballymun on November 17 and 18.