How Queer Everything Is To-day: Who is the Mad Hatter?

This performance, by the drag king Orlando, muses on the historical connections between madness and queerness, and how this might affect who we perceive the Mad Hatter to be.

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When we think about the Mad Hatter, it’s hard to know how to define him beyond what he is supposedly meant to be - mad, and all the synonyms that go along with that. Bonkers. Cuckoo. Dotty. Nutty. Kooky. Amidst these synonyms, the word 'queer' inevitably makes its way into the list of associations. This performance, by the drag king Orlando, muses on the historical connections between madness and queerness, and how this might affect who we perceive the Mad Hatter to be.

Orlando is a London based drag king and the brainchild of Holly James Johnston. Taking their name from Virginia Woolf's Orlando (1928), their drag melds masculinities and femininities together through lip-sync, spoken word, and dance. Orlando recently appeared alongside art historian and curator Stephen Calloway in 'The Art of Being a Dandy', a short film for Tate Britain's Aubrey Beardsley exhibition. They can be found at @orlandrag_ on Instagram.

Performance at 3:00pm. The 4:00pm performance has been cancelled.
Limited capacity, first come first served.

Part of Being Human Festival
In partnership with Queen Mary, University of London

Background image: Henri T