• Miss Bogan Villea wowed the crowds at this year's Mardi Gras Fair Day opening with a signature track 'Beds Are Burning' by Midnight Oil. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
With a taste for classic Aussie rock and an ice-cold tinnie, drag queen Miss Bogan Villea is starting to make a name for herself with performances from Sydney all the way to New York.
Emily Nicol

1 Mar 2018 - 12:31 PM  UPDATED 2 Mar 2018 - 12:24 AM

She steps out on stage with some Midnight Oil or AC/DC blaring, she's wearing her signature footy shorts, a singlet and if she is thirsty, a can of VB. With a straw, thank you!

Her name may come from the pretty petaled vine, but this girl's no wallflower.  

Miss Bogan Villea is a new hilarious persona created by entertainer, writer and festival director, Ben Graetz. Graetz is widely known for his drag alter-ego Miss Ellaneous, a glitzy confident performer who looks great in a pair of stilettos and a theatrical frock.  

Graetz tells NITV that the creation of Miss Bogan Villea came about in 2015 whilst performing in Darwin on the 26 January; Australia Day.

"I had this idea about a bogan character, then came up with the name and it stuck and was a really huge hit." 

It was after these first appearances that he developed the character as an ironic and politically potent statement.

"It was really interesting, I started reflecting on the character and realised that it was satire that I had unconsciously created," Graetz told NITV. "In the sense that it's a bogan white Australian character played by an Indigenous person. I asked what does that really mean? People really getting into this bogan side of it and then going, 'well there's also a deeper level'. It's great because it allows me to work in a political way as well as an accessible sub-conscious way, which I love."

"It's a bogan white Australian character played by an Indigenous person. I asked what does that really mean?" 

With the popularity of Graetz's other persona Miss Ellaneous, the performer feels that it's now time to start exploring Miss Bogan Villea a bit more. WIth a few appearances, including a guest appearance with the Hot Brown Honey collective, each time she hits the stage a new aspect of the personality is revealed. 

"She's only been out a few times, but she's performed in New York at an Australian Arts Party, a two spirited cabaret festival in Toronto and also at the Adelaide Fringe Festival."

"The more I learn about her, I realise she is non-binary she doesn't identify in terms of her sexuality, she's very open with her sexuality. I see her as a Bogan superpower," Graetz says with a laugh.

So how does the crowd react, especially in a local setting, to Miss Bogan Villea?

"It's really interesting because at first people didn't or don't know how to take her, and then once they kind of get over the shock of it all, people really get in to it. Also because I tend to play a lot of those classic Aussie songs that are also Internationally known, people can relate on that level."

Her most recent performance was at the Sydney Mardi Gras Fair Day, a one-day festival in the lead up to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras featuring LGBTQI+ performers from both here and overseas. 

"At Fair Day I knew there wasn't going to be much First Nation visibility on the stage, so I wanted to do the number and wear the Aboriginal flag and singlet and try to take a bit of a political edge by doing 'Beds Are Burning' by Midnight Oil, that's the first number. The reaction from the crowd was amazing, it was a really great day."


Meeting Miss Bogan Villea - Q&A Five in a Flash

What is your favourite indulgence?  VB

What is a pet hate? Homophobic people

What is your favourite item of clothing? A singlet and footy shorts

What is your favourite song or artist to get you pumped up? AC/DC

What's a fun night out? The Humpty Doo Tavern just outside of Darwin

You can follow Miss Bogan Villea and Miss Ellaneous on both Instagram and Facebook.

Watch Black Divaz on NITV (Channel 34) on Thursday 1 March at 8.30pm. Catch up available On Demand. Join the conversation #BlackDivaz 

SBS will have an encore telecast of Black Divaz following its broadcast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’s 40th anniversary on Sunday 4 March at 11pm.

Head to NITV's Facebook Page on Saturday 3 March at 6.30pm to see all the gays and glitter of #MardiGras40