WHEN Art Simone and Etcetera Etcetera took the stage at Bendigo's humble Piano Bar, they were a long way from the lights, camera and action they'd become accustomed to as contestants on Ru Paul's Drag Race Down Under.
However, you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd just switched on the hit Stan series.
Written and created from the depths of lockdowns, the pair's new live drag show 'As Seen on TV', seamlessly transports the audience inside their own screens.
"We wanted to finally meet all the people that are watching us on drag race," Etcetera Etcetera said, "and focus on something that we both love - and that we are now veterans of - which is television."
Between the whip-smart jokes and outrageous costumes, you could miss how carefully curated the show truly is.
As the show opens the pair are hidden behind long grey and black capes, designed to represent fuzzy tv static.
The queens then slowly reveal themselves under the capes, wearing what Art Simone describes as "cat-suit realness".
"I love those opening costumes so much," Simone said.
"Yeah, they're pretty slay," she said.
The show is nostalgia-heavy, during costume changes, the audience is treated with pre-recorded glamorous infomercials, something Etcetera was particularly excited to bring to a live audience.
"We harken back to terrible infomercials that you'd watch when you were sick at home as a kid and you know, you'd see like a potato grinder 5000 and the air fat chicken fryer 6000 and the exercise thigh-burner," she said.
"It's a world of TV that both of us already use in a lot of our humour.
"Everyone watches TV and everyone loves to remind themselves of things that they may have forgotten about."
It also becomes abundantly clear early on in the show that the pair don't take themselves too seriously.
In one set, the two queens emerge from the wings in full television remote costumes and proceed to push the lewdly placed on and off 'buttons' on themselves and each other - much to the audience's delight.
While their time on Drag Race could have lended to some live-audience shyness, the show is rife with hilarious crowd work.
One set invites audience members to guess each other's footwear, in a segment aptly named 'Heel or No Heel'.
The impeccable sound design of the show is also noteworthy, as remixes of Abba and Olivia Newton John beg the audience to sing and dance along.
For Simone and Etcetera, performing in regional towns is a refreshing break from busy metropolitan shows.
"Regional audiences just enjoy drag so much more, because they're not seeing it every single week," Simone said.
"I actually feel much more appreciated by regional audiences because they love drag and they get it.
"They are so kind and warm to drag queens, because they're so excited to see live entertainment."
Bendigo's audience excitement was palpable, and as the show came to its big musical finale, it was clear no one was changing the channel.
'As Seen on TV' is now touring and the pair will perform in Geelong on June 6, in Ballarat on June 7 and in Colac on June 9, before heading up to New South Wales.
Tickets are available here.
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