It all began at the Albury Hotel 25 years ago when Leigh Jennings introduced a Sunday evening show that had a sense of difference from the famous production show format that played every night. It was all about having fun – the same purpose continuing right through to today.
The format was, as it still is, a drag variety show. A place where up and coming drag queens can make a start, learn the ropes, have room to experiment and as many have, blossom into the performers we have all enjoyed so much over the years. While it has never been a talent quest, it has launched stars. Some of those who started at Polly’s include: Vanity Faire, Beyonce G-Spot, Christina Dior, Natasha Knowles, Jessica James (Drags Aloud, Melbourne), Feminem (Perth) and Sandy Crack (Brighton, England).
But make no mistake the star of the show is Polly. All the bouquets are hers. Polly holds the whole show together, making it look almost like a fun party, but really it takes commitment, focus and heaps of talent to guide three hours of entertainment, where anything can happen and no two shows are the same.
When the Albury Hotel closed, Polly took the show on the road. First to the Venus Room in Kings Cross then to the Lizard Lounge at the Exchange Hotel and to its current home for the last 11 years The Stonewall Hotel. Punters of a certain age will have been in the audiences for the whole journey, and even some of the showgirls will have performed on all of the Follies stages.