Live from Liperpool: lip-synching as a radical act.

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Lip-synching, an oral form of mime, has long been connected to the masking of technical problems in the performance of song, from the ’playback’ systems of Bollywood and Hollywood, or Marni Nixon-style ’ghost singers’, to a Beyoncé dance routine. Through the lips of drag queens and drag kings, however, synching has been analysed by scholars such as Judith Butler as an act disclosing the audience’s own performative acts of identity in an operation where the adroit  competence of lip-synching animates the camp, parodic incompetence of drag. This paper examines this paradox through interviews with lip-synching specialists such as Dicky Beau, who turns audio recordings of camp celebrities into digital scripts, and Cheddar Gorgeous who co-founded Manchester's Cha Cha Boudoir.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2017
EventRoyal Musical Association Annual Conference - University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Sep 20179 Sep 2017


ConferenceRoyal Musical Association Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Lip-synching
  • Lip Synchronisation
  • Playback
  • performativity
  • drag queens
  • ghost singers
  • Cheddar Gorgeous
  • Dickie Beau
  • camp
  • LBGT+
  • Cha Cha Boudoir


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