How an Ipswich Lawn Bowls Club was Saved by a Troupe of Drag Queens

By Beau
Beau is the founder of Apollo Social. He recently relocated to Melbourne with his husband and has begun a love affair with the city.
Bowled Over is a documentary that tells the heartwarming story of Taboo, a group of drag performers who have been keeping an Ipswich lawn bowls club afloat with their popular monthly drag show.

The documentary offers touching insight into how drag queens become an integral part of the community, even in the unlikely case of the North Ipswich bowls club.

There are aspects of the three drag queens that the documentary follows that we can all relate to.

Long-time Brisbane drag royalty Wanda D’Parke narrates the film. His story of returning to his hometown of Biloela to present his drag show to the people who caused so much heartache as he was growing up is relatable to any of us who grew up in small towns and felt the sting of being different to the other kids. The return home after self-acceptance is a powerful concept in the human journey and it is captured nicely in the film.

Crystal Heart, grandfather of three, is considering retirement after hosting Taboo for a decade. His body is struggling to keep up with the demands of the show, but his heart is edging him on. Handling this stage of life when your body is no longer at its peak is something that anyone north of 30 will have some recognition of.

Candy Featherbottom is just starting out as a 12-year-old drag queen. This kid is a natural on stage and his enthusiasm for the dreams of the life ahead is contagious. Who hasn’t dreamed with lofty ambition of being a star of stage and screen?

The stories told are touching and authentic, particularly so because they are set in our own backyard of Ipswich.

The documentary has been 4 years in the making. Writer and director Mandy Lake describes it as a one-in-a-lifetime story that had to be told. She hopes the film affects societal change and that it gives her a platform to tackle deeper issues affecting the LGBTQI+ community.

Bowled Over premiers Tuesday, 19 January, 8.30pm on SBS and Sunday, 24 January, 10.10pm on SBS VICELAND

The drag show that saved a struggling local bowls club,, 15 January 2021
Bowled Over the dragumentary, SBS, starring Wanda DParke,, 18 January 2021
Ipswich Bowls Club centre stage in Taboo dragumentary,, 25 November 2019