Heya, I’m Serena Ramsey and I’m the creator and producer of CHAV-RODITE!! I create art that’s unbridled, abstract, queer & common as muck.
Chav-rodite is the love child of my previous show that toured the UK WAXA BELTA HELTA SKELTA. Whenever I’m making a show, it’s always going to be informed by Working class culture and my ‘in ya face’ Geordie style. But Chav-rodite has a uniqueness, it takes the stereotypes and propaganda that has been used against the working class chews them up, wears them like a sexy costume and then spits them back out.
The demonisation of the working class was always based on cultural concepts: they were presented as a vulgar and consumerist, defined by everything from antisocial behaviour to being tacky. (Vicky Pollard) But the irony here is that when I spoke to ‘self-proclaimed’ chav’s or w/c people from around Newcastle what I realised is: we didn’t give a toss about being called chav; it almost became a badge of honour in my area. But we didn’t like missing out on opportunities or being asked by posh kids “Why didn’t our parents make us a savings account?” or “Buy us a car?!”
My drag has been heavily influenced by my upbringing and by these awkward encounters, I once made a ballgown completely of Greggs wrappers and a bikini of sausage rolls. Chav-rodite uses the same creativity to take ownership of who I am, and where I come from.
One thing about Geordies is: we’ll make the joke before you can get there, we’re stubborn and we’re proud. (And hilarious)
What inspired me to make Chav-rodite a glorious celebration and liberating, healing piece of work is mostly due to my deep-rooted love for myths, monsters, and folklore. I thought why not re-write our own narratives?
I grew up listening to clubland, makina and new monkey (hardcore music) I remember when I first came to London and my peers laughed at me for it. Now they’re the ones going to these club nights because it’s ‘cool’. The gentrification of sportswear now means we are seeing people swagging around in tracksuits they would have taunted me for wearing 5 years ago. There’s a very old phenomenon of the privileged trying to wrap themselves in the clothes of those who aren’t privileged and downplaying their backgrounds, and this was a common theme. And something VERY obvious within the arts industry too.
Basically, I LOVE being common as muck, and love being a tart and this show is a F*ck you to stereotypes and a love letter to the Chavs of this world! Expect clubland, Smirnoff ice, drama, Heinz hula hoops and lots and lots of cigs. <3 xxxxxx
Fri 16 Sept - Sat 17 Sept at 9pm