Words: Simon Button
Ingeniously describing itself as ‘a Dragatha Christie murder-mystery’, Death Drop opened last November with a cast to make drag fans swoon (Courtney Act, Vinegar Strokes, Monét X), then was shuttered the following month when Boris put London in Tier 4.
Now the show is sashaying back into the West End with an even more swoon-worthy cast that includes RuPaul’s Drag Race rule-breaker Willam, her fellow contestant Latrice Royale and UK drag legend Myra DuBois.
Willam (Photography: Matt Crockett)
And what a show it is! Brilliantly written by Holly Stars (who steals her own show in the triple role of Blue, Brie and Spread Bottomley), it’s like Agatha Christie on speed - hurtling by at such a breakneck pace you may be left wondering whodunnit, how they dunnit and indeed why they dunnit.
Instead of a mystery to be solved, it’s a spectacle to be savoured - a blur of witty one-liners, fabulous costumes, deftly done farce, toilet humour (literally, given that the downstairs loo is in a terrible state that we don’t see but hear about in graphic detail), projectile vomiting, and a game-for-anything bunch of drag queens and kings strutting their stuff with madcap abandon.
Holly Stars (Photography: Matt Crockett)
DuBois is Lady Von Fistenburg, a grand dame who in 1991 is hosting a soiree on Tuck Island to mark the tenth anniversary of Charles and Diana’s wedding. Her trusty trio of maids Blue, Brie and Spread (so named after their mother’s favourite cheeses) are on hand to welcome such guests as Willam’s Aussie pop singer Shazza and Latrice’s weather girl Summer Raines, plus Tory MP Rich Whiteman (LoUis CYfer), lusty lothario Phil Maker (Don One) and scoop-hungry World of the News editor Morgan Pierce (Anna Phylactic).
Cue hidden agendas, a slew of gruesome murders, Latrice on double duty as a French detective with a tres fashionable raincoat and dodgy accent, innuendoes aplenty and lots of references to early-90s culture, as well as a dazzlingly executed back-and-forth about the culinary merits of Findus Crispy Pancakes.
Latrice Royale (Photography: Matt Crockett)
The latter is delivered by Holly Stars like Mrs Overall from ‘Acorn Antiques’ on crack in a show that never pauses for breath. It’s clever and crazy and so funny they should have a line of ambulances outside to rush theatregoers to hospital to get their sides stitched up.