Review: Dragtime Presents: Cirque du Slay
Another smash from the well known drag group
Cambridge terms are long and even by week one we want something to uplift us. And Dragtime, as to be expected, didn't disappoint.
As a usual Dragtime show, Cirque du Slay started with a well choreographed group number before each drag performer got to have their own moment, doing what they do best. This was a mix of dance, comedy and spoken word. It was eclectic, but as it was a night that intended to transport you to the circus it's perhaps not surprising.
The host, Persephone Porcelynn was a joy. Giving amusing introductions to each act and replying with such humour and grace to audience heckling was a treat to see. I mean the blond wig was also something I was a fan of.
Kylie Gender was another who gave a really well polished performance. A burlesque number to Fever that seemed flawless, the audience lapped it up. Spartica's performance of Mein Herr was hilarious and super creative with the cutting together of different songs. The nostalgic inclusion of "I whip my hair back and forth" was definitely a win. Another musical queen was the hilarious Maria Von Snatch whose performance exploring repression in Cambridge was magnificent, then we were treated by Charlene Collins with their rendition of a psycho-killer clown with impressive full make up helped prove that to be a good drag queen you don't need to be in a lace-front wig.
Then onto the drag kings, often unappreciated in the wider world, they brought some of the best moments to the evening. Alma Fella's macho man routine, inclusive of balloon muscles, was so enjoyable as well as Ding Frisby's strong man routine later in the show.
One of the most powerful, and indeed most memorable, parts of the show was the spoken word poem performed by King Hoberon. A show with a rowdy audience and raucous atmosphere was quietened as they performed a well written piece that reflected on the issues LGBT people still face. A humble addition to a show that helps us all remember that drag isn't just about "YASSS QUEENS" and Ru Paul gags but a type of art that can express all sorts of emotions and make important statements.
Overall, Dragtime was a brilliant way to spend an evening. Yes, it may sometimes lack polish compared to some other ADC shows but it has a warmth that others can sometimes lack. A real example of what drag should be, individual performers expressing themselves creatively in whatever way they see fit; each act being different and a valued part of the show.
Ending on a crescendo of "This is Me" from the Greatest Showman was an appropriate choice, it reflects the philosophy of Dragtime in the most stagey of ways.
(Cover pic photo credits to Axel Getz)