Cross-dressing wrestler no closet champion

Richard Magarey appearing as Ladybeard at an event in Odaiba, Tokyo, in 2016. Photo: D.T. Johnson CC.

Flinders drama graduate Richard Magarey is causing a sensation in Asia as the cross-dressing, heavy metal musician known as Ladybeard.

A burly professional wrestler with a penchant for skirts and controversy, Richard, 34, graduated from Flinders with a Bachelor of Arts in 2004, majoring in Drama, and a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Hons) in 2005.

He has gone on to become an internet sensation, with more than quarter of a million Facebook followers and 23 million YouTube views for his first recording, Japan Bun, which he made as the frontman for the group, LadyBaby.

Richard’s fame trajectory began in 2006 when he moved to China to kick-start a career in the martial arts.

He soon discovered wrestling and began performing in Hong Kong under the name WuSoLui (Ladybeard) in 2009.

During this time he also worked as an actor, voice actor (providing English overdubs for many hit Japanese and Chinese anime series), and a stuntman, performing in the feature films Flashpoint, Deep Gold and The Fortune Buddies.

But it was his wrestling matches fought in pigtails and lingerie that earned him his greatest following and led him to Japan in 2013, where his persona diversified further to include TV advertisements and music recordings.

Richard Magarey in his Ladybeard persona, speaking at Saboten Con in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2016. Photo: Gage Skidmore CC.
Richard Magarey in his Ladybeard persona speaking at Saboten Con in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2016. Photo: Gage Skidmore CC.

Since March 2017, Ladybeard has teamed up with female Japanese bodybuilder Reika Saiki in the band Deadlift Lolita, which now tours the world and is a big attraction at anime conventions.

Ladybeard also features in a regular Chinese web broadcast, which is produced by his global media partners and international management agency Fly Media and has an average of 500,000 viewers every fortnight in China.

In addition, he now stars in the new documentary called Big in Japan, which profiles the quirky path to fame in Japan and is made by Australian trio Lachlan McLeon, Louis Dai and David Elliot-Jones.

To give Australian audiences a taste of his very individual act, Ladybeard will be performing live at Fowlers Live in Adelaide on Tuesday 9 January 2018, delivering what Ladybeard himself describes as a “kawaii-core experience” (Japanese ‘kawaii metal’ is a blend of heavy metal and J-pop).

Ladybeard will also attend a special screening of Big In Japan at Glenelg Event Cinemas on Wednesday 10 January 2018, and feature in a question and answer session with the audience.


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