Review: Dragtime! Presents: #squadghouls

Dragtime! have made the seamless transition to live-stream with this brilliant Halloween drag-fest


The Cambridge Dragtime! group has, by now, garnered a well-deserved reputation for producing incredible student drag shows that delight and entertain. #squadghouls, their new Halloween show, follows on from the success of last year’s Things That Go Bump N’ Grind in The Night and raises the bar even higher, expertly exploiting the capacity for whimsy, weird and wonder which Halloween provides.

From start to finish the show was engaging, energetic and thoroughly enjoyable and did not suffer at all from being moved online, a change which all performers took in their stride. The live stream was used by performers who addressed the camera directly to add a layer of intimacy and the use of film at the beginning of the show was an interesting and innovative use of the medium. Overall, this show offers viewers pure, unadulterated fun and is exactly what people need to lift them as we reach the halfway point of a difficult Cambridge term.

Halloween costume inspo? (Credit: Griffin Twemlow)

#squadghouls treated the audience to performances from seasoned drag veterans, and ADC regulars, as well as budding new talent providing reassurance that Cambridge Dragtime! will be in good hands for the future. One of the most striking things about this show is its variety, featuring music, dance, lip-syncing, cabaret, burlesque and one or two things that you just have to see for yourself.

The seasoned hosts, Magic Dyke and Charlene Collins, oozed confidence, experience and charisma, holding the show together and adding some humour. Magic Dyke in particular was able to adapt to situations on stage and find hilarity where there could have been awkwardness. The pair also offered some of the most memorable performances, Magic Dyke’s incredible stage presence and high voltage dancing was a drag masterclass and Charlene Collins went above and beyond to provide an unforgettable performance.  Alongside the hosts, audiences were treated to an amazing and intimate performance by Cambridge graduate and drag legend King Hoberon.

Drag fans are fortunate to enjoy the triumphant return of graduate King Hoberon. (Image credit: Jan Klos)

Alongside these familiar faces, #squadghouls was bought to life by some remarkable new talent and a variety of electrifying performances. Among these performances, standouts included Helvetica Sansa Reiff’s sexy and hilarious dance performance and the brilliant energy and power of Powdered Sugar.

Returning fans of Dragtime! may be disappointed to find that this show inevitably lacks the audience participation aspect which has been such a highlight in the past. However, the level of the performances has clearly been raised to compensate and Dragtime! remains an essential watch for anyone interested in having a good time.

4.5/5

Dragtime! Presents: #squadgoals is on until Saturday 31st October, and you can get your streaming tickets here.

Featured image credit: Dimitris AP