An authentic show by Drag performers.
Here's what our journalist Kerry Smith thought:
If you're a RuPaul's Drag Race fan you do not want to miss this. But if you've never seen an episode of Drag Race like myself, it's still entertaining. Jokes referencing the reality series that went way above my head were still funny, and funnier still in the interval after my Drag Race fan plus one explained them to me.
It was a slow start for Death Drop with the opening scene introducing Father Alfie Romeo played by LoUis CYfer, the first ever DragKing to be crowned Drag Idol UK. Reminding me of Matt Berry in one of my favourites, Toast of London, Louis as the Father was hilarious. I loved watching his facial expressions, overdramatic bursts of anger and utter disbelief at the ridiculousness of other characters and the events that unfolded.
That first establishing scene delivered a bit too much dialogue for the audience to take in - but the following joke that said as much was worth the laugh. It sets us up for a series of self-aware theatre budget funnies, breaking the fourth wall and breaking out of character for audience interaction from time to time.
The show, created by TuckShop founder Christopher Clegg and directed by Jesse Jones, gets away with murder with some of its outrageously raunchy gags.
They took us on a dark and scary trip to the frightful Saint Babs where we find Mother Superior played by Victoria Scone, the first cisgender female competitor to appear in Drag Race. I was obsessed with her velvety soft, low, hushed voice. She created an intense is-she-isn't-she-baddie atmosphere with every line and had an unrivalled stage presence.
At the convent we also meet Sisters Titis (outstandingly played in this performance by Kitty Scott-Claus), Mary Berry (played by the sexy Cheryl Hole) and Maria Julieandrews (played by the adorable River Medway). The three Sisters are equally funny, each with their own comedic tropes. They make a hilarious combo of back chat, sassiness, thickery, and well-timed obscenities.
While the storyline is to be desired, hard to follow, and cares not for its plot holes, I thoroughly enjoyed the horror movie references in various forms: It, The Shining, Blair Witch Project, ...Lord of the Rings... and a running string of p*ss-takes at The Sound of Music's expense.
I couldn't help but feel like I wanted more though. It doesn't deliver a satisfying enough storyline for horror fans to feel fulfilled, but for RuPaul's Drag Race fans, maybe? From the marketing, I (maybe naively) expected more 'extra'ness in the form of singing, dancing, and costume changes.
However, this is a show that honours Drag acts in all their glory. The creators at TuckShop wanted to avoid a cabaret-style show and put on an actual play. They wanted authentic multitasking Drag performers.
Drag artists not only perform but they write their own material, design costumes and wigs, direct themselves and stage manage. Clegg wanted to tap into all of those skills. He pulls it off.
Rather than taking your seat with any usual West End expectations, think of Death Drop as one huge sketch and you'll be fantastically entertained.
What our Head of Brand Marketing Becci Houlston thought:
Comedy. Thriller. Drag.
Is this the perfect trio?
At first I wasn’t so sure. A slow start to this show (a comedy thriller staring drag queens) left me feeling a little bit uncertain as to what was coming next.
As a fan of Ru Paul's Drag Race and the world of drag, I knew I needed to see the show. With some of my favourite Drag Race UK stars in the cast including Kitty Scott Claws as Sis Titis, Victoria Scone as Mother Superior, River Medway as Maria Julieandrews and Cheryl Hole as Sister Mary Berry, I didn’t think anything could go wrong.
What did go wrong, however, was my personal expectations. Knowing how talented this cast was already, I was expecting glitz, glamour, singing, dancing, and well… the full package. This left me feeling slightly disappointed by the plot. However, my overthinking nature reminded me this was in fact a comedy thriller, not an episode of a TV show looking for the next drag superstar.
As someone who isn’t a fan of thrillers (jump scares specifically) I soon had that sinking feeling that perhaps this show wasn’t for me.
I was thankfully proven wrong as the show proceeded with camp pop culture references, musical interludes and pastiche moments from some of the most familiar horror films out there.
Did you think Mr Blobby could be even scarier? He can!
I soon started laughing along to the crazy nature of this show and was hooked until the final death drop (not technically a spoiler!)
Father Alfie Romeo played by LoUis CYfer who added a new personality to the queens I already felt I knew, which helped to guide the story and make light of the blips that cropped up along the way.
The main backbone of this performance is the innuendo-driven comedy, which somehow naturally sat alongside the panto-esque stage production.
If you’re up for a laugh and don’t take life too seriously then this is a perfect piece of theatre to tick a box for weekend evening entertainment.
I will definitely be recommending this touring show to others as I still left the Curve with a smile on my face. But I can’t help feeling there was a slightly missed opportunity here for a bit more theatricality to bring light moments in the midst of the drama.
See Death Drop: Back in the Habit tonight at Curve at 6pm and 9pm.