Ahead of her farewell tour before relocating to jolly old England, Ivanna Drink discusses divorce, finding new love and the experience of marching in Aucklands Rainbow Parade.

We have seen you everywhere this Pride Season. What have been your favourite events so far, and why?

I loved walking in the Rainbow Parade this year. There was a moment where one of the billboards ticked over, and it was my face looking right over the parade. It was surreal and made me a bit emotional. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to see my face on a billboard, let alone on Ponsonby Road, during the Rainbow Parade! I always remind myself about what my dreams and goals were when I first started doing drag, and if I knew what my life would be like right now, I would have cried!


The other event I was so privileged to be a part of was Club Waack at the Basement Theatre. To be able to work with so many queer and POC artists was amazing. They welcomed me with open arms. I made some fabulous friends, and we put on a fabulous show!

For our readers wanting to see more of Ivanna Drink, they can catch you on your up-and-coming tour. Tell us about the show and what we can expect from it.

We’re finalising all the small details, but it’s a farewell (before I move to London) to everyone here in Aotearoa. I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I’m doing over the next few months before I leave. Most of my bookings are private events, so not everyone can come – and I wanted to give people one last chance to see me perform. I’ll be going all around the country with this cabaret show, where I’ll be bringing back some of my early shows, revised to be better, and the performances that I’ve loved doing over the last eight years.

Where are you most looking forward to performing this tour?

All over, but especially in Auckland. All my friends and family are here, so it’ll be a special stop, as I know the whole room will be filled with people I know and love. My friends and family have always been so supportive, so to be able to start the tour at home is so fabulous!

A new batch of girls have just started filming Drag Race Down Under. What was your experience like on the show, and what advice do you have for those new Ru girls?

I honestly loved my time on the show. It helped kick-start my career and allowed me to pursue so many opportunities. I would say don’t expect too much to be handed to you. While you get more followers, it doesn’t always amount to much. Drag Race is the catalyst for you to hustle and make the most of your moment in the spotlight.

Ivanna Drink dazzles at the Big Gay Out.

The past six months have been a time of change for you. During August (the same month you were on the cover of YOUR ex), you and your husband Nick (Anita Wiglit) took to social media to announce you were divorcing. That must have been incredibly hard at a time when your profile was so high.

The last year has been filled with so many highs and milestones, like being on the cover of YOUR ex, competing on Season 3 of Drag Race and getting to tour all over Australia and NZ. Breakups are always hard, particularly so when they are so public and everyone has an opinion. I was so fortunate to have received so much love. I was in Europe with my mum and aunty at the time it happened, so I had the best support with me.

Six months on, how are you feeling?

While at the time it was devastating and a lot to process, things are much better now. I took time to find myself and really reflect on who I am and what makes me happy. I’ve prioritised exercise and a healthy lifestyle, and drag has taken off. I’m busier than ever, and I’ve met someone special who I adore and makes me incredibly happy.

Do you still consider Anita/Nick a friend?

Absolutely! We still talk every day – whether it’s about the renovation of the house that we’re selling soon, our pets or the business that we run together – Drag Queen Bingo. We were part of each other’s lives for such a long time that it would be a shame if that was all thrown away because our dynamic has shifted.

You announced about 3 months ago that you are planning on moving to London. What inspired this?

I’m moving sometime in June. I’ve always wanted to live abroad, but one of the drawbacks of getting settled in life so early was that I had to sacrifice that dream. Now that my life is a bit different, I’m able to do it – so I applied for my visa (which I received just before Christmas), and it’s all go! I’m excited to perform while I’m there and experience life in a different country!

What happens with your new ‘someone special’ when you move to London?

James will be moving with me! We’ve been living together for over a month now, and things have been going really well!

Catch Ivanna Drink on tour at Phoenix, Auckland (Saturday 20 April), Fringe Bar, Wellington (Tuesday 30 April), Biddy Mulligans, Hamilton (Friday 3 May), Little Andromeda, Christchurch (9-11 May), and Whangarei Theatre Company (Saturday 18 May). More dates to be announced. For more information and tickets, visit: