Supporters loyal to fugitive Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi have insisted that it is a ‘complete coincidence’ that in the days since his disappearance there have been a number of sightings of a rather unkempt new drag performer in the nightclubs of downtown Tripoli.
The act, who goes under the name of ‘Gena’, attracted curious glances last night from regulars at the trendy Tariq’s venue off Green Square during a show that promised a mixture of ‘popular camp classics’ and ‘traditional desert power ballads with a focus on militarism’.
‘When she took to the stage I thought there was something familiar about her,’ said audience member Harim Azul, ‘but then safari suits and sunglasses are a popular look in this part of the world. The regular costume changes showed a woman’s astute fashion sense, and dressing her backing singers as gun-toting female bodyguards was a nice touch given the current conflict.’
However, many punters expecting regular star turn ‘Barbara’ were enraged at having to fork out 600 dinar to watch newcomer ‘Mad Dog’ Gena.
‘She lacked Barbara’s vocal range and looked like she hadn’t shaved for three days,’ said one. ‘At first she tried to placate the crowd by insisting that she was pre-op and that the regular injections were playing havoc with her voice, but when that failed she denounced us as a bunch of perverts and threatened to attach electrodes to our testicles. I thought that showed a complete lack of awareness of the issues affecting the LGBT community here in Tripoli.’
Club owner Tariq Abdul, who booked Gena at short notice after Barbara came down with strep throat, says he has come to regret the decision. ‘Normally you can’t go wrong with ‘I Will Survive’, but she absolutely butchered it with a uniquely flawed vocal performance and constant references to US imperialism which I don’t recall in the original. Not only that, the dressing room wasn’t good enough for her and she insisted on setting up her own Bedouin tent in the car park.’
‘And as for turning up at the venue in a tank… Who does she think she is?’