Two Liverpool drag queens are set to make an appearance in an upcoming Sky original series.
Dys Alexia and Claudia will hit our screens later this year as they play drag queens who can be found partying in downtown New York in the latest adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel, Funny girl.
The pair managed to land the roles after a casting team contacted a drag agency looking for “interesting queens”. Initially, it was thought that only one queen would have a chance to be in the spotlight, but to their delight, both were chosen.
READ MORE:The artist who fled Romania is now enjoying life as a Liverpool drag queen
The new comedy drama series follows the life of a young Blackpool woman as she finds her comedic voice in the male-dominated world of 1960s sitcoms. Leading the cast is Gemma Arterton who enters the skin of the charismatic Barbara Parker, a recently crowned Miss Blackpool who begins to wonder if there is more to life than being a beauty queen in a seaside town.
With that in mind, Barbara ventures to London at the height of the ’60s, but when she arrives, the city discovered isn’t the perfect place she had read about or seen on TV. Despite this, she manages to land a role in a TV comedy show and is part of a groundbreaking new sitcom that will impact British comedy for decades to come.
As part of the production, Liverpool was used as a backdrop to take viewers back to New York in the 1960s. Dys Alexia told ECHO: “We filmed around Castle Street and Exchange Flags because they wanted it looks like New York as much as possible, but we can’t say too much because that would take all the excitement out of the series.
“However, we took on other roles (than our usual drag characters). Dys Alexia wouldn’t have existed in the ’60s, you have to remember, that’s a time before RuPaul’s Drag Race. My role was more a ‘cross dresser’ than a working drag queen: someone who lives most of the time in drag instead of just getting into it for work.
The performer explained that filming was “very fast and on a tight schedule” after working two “long and grueling days” from four in the morning until late at night. Although they saw actors passing by, there was little time to interact as the producers had little time to shut down the busy streets of Liverpool.
However, they might tease that the new series would include “all the excitement and emotion” of the original film, which starred Barbara Streisand in the lead role, but with a “new, modern twist and some really unpolished makeup.”
Dys Alexia has been working to establish herself as a professional for just over four years now and said the show was a great way for her to network. The 21-year-old from Romania added: “Since we filmed it, it’s been great to have a foot in the door with other TV shows. I was approached to do a dating show on MTV, a cross between Love Island and Big Brother but with LGBTQ+ influencers.
As well as Liverpool’s own drag queens, the cast is rounded out by Rupert Everett of My Best Friend’s Wedding, David Threlfall, best known for playing Frank Gallagher in Channel 4’s Shameless and Murder on the Orient Express series Tome Bateman. The series will be available on Sky Max and the NOW streaming service this year.