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They’re here, they’re queer with a disability and putting on a fabulous show

They’re here, they’re queer with a disability and putting on a fabulous show

quippings disability australia risky business

A new cabaret game show plans to flip expectations about people with disability in a night of fabulous fun.

The Quippings troupe’s, Risky Business, is on this year’s International Day of People with Disability.

Quippings was founded in Melbourne in 2010 to create work centred on the lives of people with disability. It operates from a political perspective born out of the disability rights movement.

The troupe brings ‘bucketloads of disability pride’ to each show and Risky Business is no exception. Kath Duncan, one of Quippings co-creators gets a bit punny when describing the new show.

‘This is our riskiest show yet. Our biggest cast and our wildest ideas break out all over the Spiegeltent stage,’ Duncan said.

The most important thing about the show it is about reclamation for the cast, crew and people with disabilities.

‘This show is for International Day of People with Disability – we are reclaiming this day as ours. There will be no DisabiliTea, no charity, no pity; instead – expect fierce and funny and defiant,’ organizers said.

Coolest name in the biz

Creatrix Tiara has one of the coolest names in show business, and is performing a burlesque number about Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). A disorder which primarily effects mood.

Much of Tiara’s work in her eight years of performing explores her intersectional life as ‘a queer immigrant gender-nonconforming woman of colour living with mental health issues’.

The most powerful moments of Tiara’s performances come after a performance when people come up to her to say ‘me too’ or ‘you get me’.

‘Quippings is another opportunity for me to create and perform such work, particularly around an aspect of myself (health/disability) that I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to explore artistically as much,’ Tiara told Gay Star News.’I wanted to perform about PMDD in the specific because it’s such an under-understood condition; it gets dismissed as “just PMS” most of the time even though the symptoms are very severe, e.g. monthly suicidality.

‘Mental health-related disorders often don’t really get recognised as a disability because they’re invisible, and lesser-known conditions like PMDD even more so.’


Performing is way of using stories as activism for Kochava Lilit, who uses the pronouns fae/faer. They are neopronouns for people who identify outside binary genders but have more gender neutral to choose from, rather just ‘they’.

Fae wants people to know that ‘being disabled is not a tragedy’.

‘I’m autistic and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and I love it,’ fae said.

‘Being neurodivergent is such an important part of my identity and experiences, and I’m a better activist because of it.’

Risky business

The show is directed by Suze Smith and other performers include; Rachel High, Gem Mahadeo, Kath Duncan, Julie McNamara, Sonia Marcon, Anthony Julian, Imogen Newhouse and Jess Kapuscinski-Evans.

Risky Business’ director is Suze Smith – a director, theatre maker, and movement researcher. She’s an Independent Artist and Project Manager at VCA,.

Risky Business is on Friday 1 December at the Melba Spiegeltent in Melbourne. An Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreter will be at the show.