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Becoming Cherrie

11m Documentary 2019

Becoming Cherrie tells the story of actor and performer Matthew Cavan, aka Belfast’s most-loved drag artist, Cherrie Ontop.

Diagnosed HIV-positive aged 20, Matthew struggled to find acceptance in conservative Northern Irish society. Coming from a religious family in Carrickfergus, Matthew was kicked out of his church by the Minister. Having never met anybody else with HIV, he felt so alone he attempted suicide.

Becoming Cherrie allows us inside the intimate process of transformation between Matthew and Cherrie. A portrait of resilience and reinvention, Matthew and his father Terry tell the story of the difficulties of living with HIV in the age of the DUP - set against the backdrop of the abuse Matthew has received; adapted into a terrifying stage performance by Cherrie.

Featuring the track Yummy Mummies & Boho Dummies by Diplomat M. Funded by Northern Ireland Screen.


Nicky Larkin




United Kingdom