A woman (Kayla Lorette) performs as a drag king, dressed like an older man, but her performance doesn’t quite connect with her audience. She heads out to a bar where she spots a man (Julian Richings) who looks exactly like her. The two head back to the man’s house for an evening together. When the woman wakes up in the morning, she finds herself inspired and introduces a new character for her act. She Stoops to Conquer screens in Short Cuts Programme 5 at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
Director Zack Russell offers up what may be the strangest love story ever put on film with She Stoops to Conquer. Starring Kayla Lorette and the instantly recognizable Julian Richings, the short is already twisting what we’re used to as Lorette plays a drag king while Richings’ character is fond of dresses. Add to that the fact that Lorette is wearing Richings’ face (made from castings of Richings that Russell was able to get before the actor signed on) while they begin making out after meeting, and you may wonder what you’ve stumbled into.
Richings seems to channel a little Christopher Walken as he dances with Lorette in the bar, and it’s great fun to watch the two perform together. The strange scenario will leave you questioning the precise motives of the short and its characters, but that’s half the fun of watching a drag king essentially stealing identities.