"The Cockettes" and Tá Na Deptford
A couple of weeks ago I went to see a screening of 'The Cockettes' presented by Test Magazine and the fabulous Fred Butler at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green. 'The Cockettes' is a documentary about the 1970's psychedelic drag queen troupe who went from an underground cult to a mainstream phenomenon. Their non-narrative revues and creative spontaneity reminded me of another 'theatre' group, Ta Na Deptford, which I had discovered just a few days before by browsing through i-D online. The group say on their website: "Tá Na Deptford is a performance movement happening in Deptford. First hailing from the streets of Rio de Janiero- Tá Na Deptford’s mission is to whip up London’s South East Culture through performance. By combining the methodology of Brazilian street theatre company ‘Tá Na Rua’ with the creative energies of local Londoners we create mind-blowing spectacles for streets of Deptford and alternative club nights across the city." Tá Na Deptford often organise events during which they train participants in the performance methods of 'Tá na Rua', which - exactly like the appearances by 'The Cockettes'! - is theatre without a script, but created entirely by the impulsive action of the performer as they set themselves free amongst props and costumes.