OTwo Interview: Who Robbed Annie Queeries?

Image Credit: Rochelle Brown

Laura Molloy speaks to co-directors Connie Henry and Niall Keane of Who Robbed Annie Queeries? An upcoming performance at Scene and Heard Festival 2024.

On the 1st of March 2024 for one night only, the real Dragatha Christie mystery Who Robbed Annie Queeries? will take stage in the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. The performance is part of Smock Alley’s Scene and Heard Festival, which was founded by the Arts Council and celebrates a variety of new work across different live performance genres - including theatre, music, dance, comedy and visual arts. I sat down with co-directors Connie Henry and Niall Keane to discuss their upcoming play centred on the scandal of the robbery of Drag Queen Annie Queery’s makeup bag at Electric Picnic last year. 

“Hi Niall and Connie. Thank you for chatting to OTwo. Can you tell me what exactly this Dragatha Christie mystery is about?”

“It is based on real life events, but also a parody of an Agatha Christie novel,” Niall explains. The play “focuses on the aftermath” of the events of Electric Picnic 2023, Connie continues. Drag Queen Annie Queerie was robbed at the festival and had her makeup bag stolen. What was interesting about the crime was that it happened in “a room that was full of staff” and “the makeup bag was the only thing taken,” Niall recounts. 

“Why was the makeup bag stolen? Did it hold any kind of symbolism?”

Niall nods. “The makeup bag was symbolic.” “There is an importance of Drag Queen makeup for the artist,” Connie adds in. Despite the play depicting Annie’s robbery, her character does not make an appearance in the play. Instead, the cast consists of five key suspects of the unsolved crime. “Originally, it was meant to follow the year after Electric Picnic but the ending has changed twice,” Niall describes.

“Can you tell me more about your experience of writing the play? How did you come up with the idea? Where did it originate from?”

“It was a cold and rainy night at Opium Bar after the Fringe Festival last year” Niall says grinning as he turns to Connie. “I shook him by the shoulders and said we should write a play about drag queens,” Connie laughs. Although, the play is “not about them being in drag.” Niall laughs to himself. 

“How long did it take the two of you to write the play?” 

They both pause for a moment, silently calculating in their heads. “Three months in total I’d say,” Niall estimates. “We started writing Who Robbed Annie Queeries? just after the Fringe Festival last year. We had 14 pages as a pitch for the theatre in October” Connie tells me. 

“Tell me more about the theatre Smock Alley and its festival Scene and Heard. Was there any reason in particular that you wanted to work with them?”

The Scene and Heard Festival is often considered a “trial for the Fringe Festival shows” and “Smock Alley is one of the oldest theatres in the city,” Niall explains. Niall is also involved with another performance in this year’s festival; The Spiders/ Cornucopia Jones Wants You to Succeed! He goes on to say that “A lot of comedians do their first hours there and the festival is really important for one woman shows.” “It’s also rumoured to be haunted,” he adds in quickly, making us all laugh. 

“Why did you decide to write about the drag queen Annie Queeries specifically?” 

“She’s a hero,” they answer simultaneously. “People will come to see her because they love her,” Niall insists. 

“Why do you think Annie was Robbed? Was it rooted in Homophobia? A statement against drag shows?” 

They both shake their heads in disagreement. “No. Although, every single gay person would have been at her performance,” Niall remarks. “It was considered a game,” Connie suggests. “It fuelled gossip which is a big aspect of the drag community,” Connie explains. 

The robber of Annie’s makeup bag was never discovered to this day. “The first suspect was the performer,” Connie says but nothing ever came of it. Although, one of the early suspects has actually been casted in this “Drag murder mystery.” 

“Tell me more about the genre of Drag.”

“Most drag shows are a once-off. It’s all about the atmosphere,” Niall claims. “Drag exaggerates comedy,” Connie says. 

“What drew both of you to working in Drag?”

“I love playing both the character and the drama of a character. It’s an entirely self-contained character,” Connie explains.” “For me, I love the idea of dressing up weird”, Niall says with a smirk. He goes on to express his love for “the comedy.” “Most of the characters are insane, ” he comments. “More than anything, the level of nonsense you do is accepted” Niall grins. 


Who Robbed Annie Queeries? has already sold out weeks in advance of its showing. The play promises to be a stellar performance with the dedication and expertise of an excellent crew behind it. From speaking to the co-directors Connie Henry and Niall Keane, it is clear this retelling of a humorous yet symbolic event will not only speak to fans of Annie, but also all members of the Drag community.