Backstage at a bar in Moscow, a troupe of drag queens surrounded by make-up palettes and sparkling costumes join hands before taking to the stage for what could be one of their last legal shows. The mood is surprisingly upbeat at “Draglesque Brunch”, given they are facing new repressive legislation that could see their shows banned and the performers fined or potentially jailed. “How gorgeous! How fun! The vibe is super warm … there’s a river of mimosas flowing in there already. So my dears, let’s enjoy today’s wonderful brunch!” says the host, who goes by the stage name of Margot Mae Hunt. In a white gown and a wavy blond wig with yellow and lilac feathers, Mae Hunt, as well as the others in the green room, is relishing the moment – because what comes next is anyone’s guess.
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