WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHERE? Trafalgar Studios RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)
WHEN? 15/12 (matinee), runs to 5/1/20
Drag sashayed ever further into the mainstream this year with a triumphant first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK on the BBC and now we have this pantomime take-over of a renowned West End stage.
Baga Chipz finished 3rd in UK Drag Race and she’s the best reason to see this show because, from the moment when she appears at the top of the venue’s staircase, to the close of well sung opening number Pink’s Get This Party Started, her star appeal shines bright.
She contributed memorably to song Break Up by the Frock Destroyers and it features several times here as does Chipz’ ‘Much better!’ catchphrase.
But Chipz has serious competition in this show by entertainment company Tuckshop and we found northern comedienne Holly Stars particularly good value as Buttons not least when she took us by the hand out of the audience and on to the stage for a little good-humoured pantomime humiliation.
There’s lots of audience interaction and the moment when Chipz in a gigantic gown tries to squeeze between a row of fans was almost as funny as the Carry On banter that has become a bit of a trademark. She’s the new Barbara Windsor. It’s all very sweary and not for children (this was a matinee) but if you love drag, this is a great example.
Sheila Simmonds plays the Fairy God Botherer and interacts well with the audience and her show stopping finale with Stars for a 12 Days Of Christmas party is chaotic but spirited fun.
The Ugly Sisters are given a feminist makeover and are played by Ophelia Love, who we remember from Gals Aloud, and Veronica Green.
Kemah Bob makes for a different Prince Charming and we enjoyed the twist to the plot masterminded by writer Jon Bradfield. Baby plays Cinderella as a lip-synching deathdropper and we appreciated how things turned out for her.
Well done to Trafalgar Studios for allowing this drag takeover and the art form looks set to shantay you stay on bigger stages for many years to come.