Brett Herriot Review

Death Drop, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh Review:

“truly a joyful night out

**** 4 Stars

Following a sell out and critically acclaimed run in London’s West End at the Garrick Theatre, the Drag Queens and Kings have packed up their wigs, make up and high heels and set off on the road on the first UK tour of the Drag Murder Mystery from the pen of Holly Stars based on the original idea by Christopher D Clegg.

Set in 1991, a gaggle of guests gather on the mysterious Tuck Island for a dinner party like no other. The tension rises as the outrageous guests reveal their questionable pasts and hidden secrets. As the ferocious finger pointing and savage speculation begins, one by one they sashay away, until at the last, nerve-shredding, side-splitting moment we find out who-dunnit!

Holly Stars script truly delivers everything its sets out too, blending drag humour, outrageous costumes and pitch perfect comedy timing from a strong ensemble cast to deliver a memorable evening of theatre. Although this is very much a murder mystery for the adults, with the cast ever ready to break character and take on any audience member either daft enough or brave enough to heckle. These boys and girls take no prisoners as they seek the truth and find out just who the killer on Tuck Island is.

Holly Stars not only writes the script but takes on the challenge of playing all three Bottomley Sisters which luckily for her happen to be identical triplets, Stars shines as the glue of the show. Joined by Ru Paul Drag Race stars, William as Shazza (Shazza in name only as William delivers their regular act within the constraints of the script) and Ra’Jah O’Hara as the wonderful Summer Raines with the frocks to match. Completing the line up of Queens are Karen from Finance as Morgan Pierce (a send up of Pierce Morgan and the news of the world) and Vinegar Strokes as Lady Von Fistenburg. Apple Derriers is also cast as alternate for all parts.

This production isn’t just about the queens two excellent Drag Kings also have a major part to play with Richard Energy in the role of Rich Whiteman and Georgia Frost as Phil Maker. The performance from the entire cast are uniformly excellent its clear it’s very a much a team show and that flows across the foot lights. The fact it’s Queens and Kings gives the production a balance that it needs and allows all facets of comedy to be mined beautifully.

Director Jesse Jones delivers a well paced production and the original songs from Flo & Joan give great colour and the show would benefit from perhaps a song or two extra especially in the dialog heavy act 2 as the final reveal takes a little more time to reach than it probably should.

Justin Williams set design blends the over the top style of drag with a colourful Cluedo type set while adding the right nods to 90’s culture. The portrait of Charles and Diana looms large across both set and story. Add to the mix Jack Weir’s excellent lighting design, Beth Duke’s thundering sound design and you have the perfect mix for a west end show on stage at the kings.

Queens would be nothing without good wardrobe so special mention must go to Isobel Pellow who delivers in spades.

Death Drop truly delivers everything it sets out too, adult humour, slapstick visual comedy and the sassiness and truth that only these Kings and Queens can bring. They take aim at culture raging from Ru Paul and her drag race to the evil conservative party it’s truly a joyful night out.

So why not book a ticket, grab a glass of wine or the tipple of your choice and head to the King’s Edinburgh to see if you can figure out whom the killer that is stalking Tuck Island really is!

Tuckshop & Trafalgar Theatre Productions Present, Death Drop, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh Runs until Saturday 20th November. For tickets go to: Tour continues to Birmingham.

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