Review: DirtyFilthySexy Present 'Trick or Treat, Freak'

Words: Caroline Barry
Photos: Tom Morley
Thursday 31 October 2019
reading time: min, words

Our Caroline had such a good night she ended up going home half naked. Read on if you prefer to embrace yer freaky side on Halloween…


You know it’s been a good night when you have to go home early because your dress has literally melted off you.

Halloween (otherwise known as goth Christmas) comes but once a year. This time I joined the crowds at DirtyFilthySexy for their ‘Trick or Treat, Freak’ Halloween bash in Rough Trade and had a blast.

Drag has had a really strong moment this year, with moments such as the Manchester queens of Drag SOS and the start of UK Drag Race. My issue with the Drag Race is this; where are all the fun queens at? While I do enjoy the comedy stylings of Baga Chips, Sum Ting Wong and The Vivienne, it’s very telling that the most ‘controversial’ alternative drag they could find was someone with a bit of chest hair.


If you are looking to see where the ‘real’, ‘raw’ drag scene in the UK is currently at then try a DirtyFilthySexy event. Nothing is off limits here, as witnessed by the well timed Dad? Jokes between Marilyn and Nana, or the painful-to-watch-yet-too-addictive-to-turn-away performance from Melancholy, who was wall stapling a latex mask to her face, kitted out in a latex dress made of more faces. This is where I find drag I can relate to. It’s bloody, gutsy and gory in all the right places.

The real beauty of these events is the strong message of ‘everybody welcome’ that the DiftyFilthySexy nights give off. Rough Trade provided a suitably spooky venue for the evening and Nottingham’s alternative crowd were there in their finest costumes and attire. A special mention must go to the incredibly detailed table of menacing clowns that could be seen, and Bob Ross also put in an appearance towards the end of the night too - so good of him to stop by when in town.


The evening saw a selection of wonderfully spooky and gory drag take to the stage. Brighton’s post human drag pop star PSYCOFAG and her backup dancers put in a high energy electro-pop show, while Draven, a homegrown Nottingham performer, put on her first official performance. On the subject of Nottingham artists, Nana Arthole also provided a suitably slimy show, showering herself in green goo. Clean up needed on aisle four please...

For me, the evening was abruptly rounded off when I realised my dress was literally melting off me, threatening to leave me exposed (well, even more exposed) in the middle of town. Running through the streets holding my jacket closed was not a good look, but I just about made it back and awoke the next day in my usual post DirtyFilthySexy state – hungover and covered in glitter.


If you love the sound of this but missed the event, never fear. Their next drag event is on New Year’s Eve at Nottingham Contemporary, which promises to be an amazing show including a performance from the spooky Charity Kase. Grab your tickets and your sturdiest dress for this one.

DirtyFilthySexy Presents: 'Trick or Treat, Freak' took place on Saturday 26th October at Rough Trade Nottingham.

Pictures and more information on DirtyFilthySexy.

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