Brisbane Ekka, it’s all about the tradition

Published August 14, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Brisbane Ekka, it’s all about the tradition| The Courier-Mail

The above article gives some commentary on the redevelopment of the EKKA, is the annual show of Queensland, Australia. In Australia, the annual “Show” is a significant event in the life of most towns and even major cities. It is when the country comes to town, be it i.e. cultural exchange, commercial showcase, or simply a distraction from the humdrum of everyday life, the Show serves some purpose. Once a premier entertainment event, a mix of quality tent shows, sideshows i.e. Tent boxing, freak shows , often including a Circus and or a rodeo. It is now a shadow of its former self, what remains is a funfair with all the lights and excitement but long on hype and short on value for money.

The Show holds many fond memories for most people it is our first interaction with the other, those marginal people who colour our vanilla lives.  A personal favourite being Johanna/John a long since gone half man/half woman act, before transgender or intersex was introduced to the vocabulary. Shim was a risqué comedy act that frequented sideshow ally in the early 80s. This perform was made up to look like a woman on one side and a man on the other wearing formal wear. The woman had long red hair with full make up wearing a flimsy cocktail gown during the show she exposed a realistic breast and taunted the crowd to touch. While the man had slick backed black hair, half moustache and wore a dinner suite. This act challenged the status quo it was by default Queer, even if not by intent.

History of the Showmen’s Guild


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