fbpx Real Life experience “Taking your broken heart and turning it into art

Real Life experience “Taking your broken heart and turning it into art




Photo Credit: Ezra Alcantra

Winner of Best Overall Cabaret at the Adelaide Fringe 2024, MESSY FRIENDS returns  to Edinburgh  in  an  unmissable whirl of colour, costume and candour

Bizarre, beautiful, and subversively, deeply creative MESSY FRIENDS are delighted to bring a brand-new show to the Edinburgh Festival after an award-winning Australian run – including Winner of Best Overall Cabaret Award at the Adelaide Fringe 2024 (not the weekly award, the main one) and Best Show Award at the 2022 Fringe World Festival.

In their second visit to Edinburgh MESSY FRIENDS brings an über-alternative style of drag to the Fringe, with truly memorable visuals which are genuinely unlike anything you’ve seen before; this variety show presents a diverse blend of lip-sync, burlesque and dance performances spliced with revealing documentary style videos to create the world’s first live Drag-u-mentary.

MESSY FRIENDS is a kaleidoscopic exploration of the queer experience, hosted by shapeshifting choreographer and costumer, Ginava, renowned for their work with acts like Roisin Murphy, Boy George, Alan Cumming, and Peaches.

A unique and invigorating combination of documentary and drag, MESSY FRIENDS features candid performer video clips and interviews between each performance, boldly exploring artistic process, queer experience and mental health. The show deftly weaves together these different elements into a patchwork of storytelling that sensitively navigates potentially heavy subjects such as depression/trauma, fears about acceptance, and eating disorders all whilst celebrating queer resilience and community.

This juxtaposition makes the live segments of the show all the more powerful, highlighting the complex relationship between performer and their performance. One memorable example sees Ginava (the founder of MESSY FRIENDS) discussing their history with eating disorders on video. This is a sombre moment as it gives the audience pause to consider how LGBTQI+ adults and adolescents experience greater incidences of eating disorders and also experience greater stigma and shame surrounding seeking treatment. Yet even as the audience watches the screen and sees our host blink back tears, already the delightful drag- monster on stage is gearing up to manifest this experience as a live performance – and sticking two fingers up at the trauma – a human-sized puppet stomps onto the stage, accompanied by thumping techno and begins their own special version of liberation – vomiting glittery tinsel into the trash.

With tight lip-syncs, dynamic choreography, and never-to-be-forgotten costuming, the talented, charming, warm, welcoming (and a little bit unnerving) cast of humans and creatures, bring audiences into their world. Often referred to as “gateway-drag” by their fans, MESSY FRIENDS is a wholly special experience for Drag Veteran and Drag Virgins alike.


20:55 1st – 25th August (not 13th August) 60 mins

0131 623 3030


Praise for Messy Friends

“A spectacular showcase of exceptional and unconventional talent, loaded with laughs, gasps and a surprising amount of heart”

 OUTinPERTH ★★★★★

“One of the most polished Drag acts you’ll

witness all Fringe” 

Cream Magazine ★★★★★

“An unforgettable conceptual playground. Must be seen.” Fringefeed ★★★★★

“The best drag show at the Fringe…” 

RGM ★★★★  

“A boundary-pushing showcase that challenges expectations and leaves the audience yearning for more” 

One4Review ★★★★½

GINAVA – Founder/Creative Director of

Gendermess  Productions

Ginava; creative director, choreographer, and costume designer, is most known for their shape shifting costume work, spoken word lip-syncing abilities and their directing/producing work at the Fringe World festival in Perth. Their work has been awarded the Martins Sims Award (Best Show of Fringe), Melbourne and Sydney Fringe Tour Ready Awards, and nominated for both the Brighton Fringe Tour Ready Award and the FRINGE WORLD Theatre Award. Whether it’s performing as a vomiting monster, a tinsel clad figure or a psychotically crazed character, they have worked with the likes of James St. James, Roisin Murphy, Boy George, The Potbelleez, Methl Ethyl, Alan Cumming & Peaches. Notably, they celebrated the 10th anniversary of “Gendermess Productions” and made their Edinburgh Fringe debut last year. Additionally, Ginava recently debuted their multi-award-winning solo show, “Split Lip,” off-Broadway in New York in 2024.

Messy Friends will run at Assembly Gardens at 20:55 during the Edinburgh Fringe, for more information and booking go to https://www.edfringe.com/event/2024MESSYFS_AAS

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