Presented by Nexus Arts
Reviewed 13 March 2020
Get ready for Kween Kong and her team of incredible Drag Queens and Kings to take the stage in bold outfits, impressive routines and plenty of sequins and outrageous hair for the 2020 Adelaide Fringe.
It’s hard to find another performer that can open a show quite like Kween Kong, especially in a skin-tight sequinned bodysuit depicting a humorous face with googly eyes, giant lashes and big red lips. As the dramatic music fills the theatre, the show’s Kween steps on stage and begins her energetic, bold and mesmerising routine to Bonnie Tyler’s powerful Holding Out For A Hero. Supported by three back-up dancers, Kween Kong throws herself around the stage with backflips, twists and turns, rolls and splits abound, dominating the audience’s attention.
After impressing the audience, Kween Kong takes on the role of MC for the night – and boy, is she a sassy MC! She keeps the humour rolling with her bold personality, not holding back on her comments to both audience and performers (all performed in good jest I should add). What’s great about Drag Supreme (Kultural-Realness/Edition) is that the array of routines are all incredibly different, which is a refreshing change from drag shows where all performances seem to have the same creative inspiration, plus the show runs over two nights but neither is the same as different performers fill the two line-ups.
Friday night provided energetic routines that ranged from private slumber parties put on-stage for the audience to enjoy, to Drag Kings performing a more appropriate “woke” version of Beyonce’s hit, If I Were a Boy. There were also workout-inspired routines and some that focussed on the changes of time.
Drag Queen Dee Dee Kong gives the audience perhaps one of the most beautiful routines of the night, performing in almost nothing – not even a wig – to represent a stripped-down vulnerability we feel when faced with rejection. As Robyn’s hit Dancing On My Own plays, Dee Dee is surrounded by others dancing in a club setting, and despite all the back-up dancers moves and colourful outfits, all eyes are on Dee Dee as she mourns the loss of her love to someone else in the club. A highlight is her dramatic launch into the air thanks to the help of the other dancers, followed by an emotional ending as Dee Dee is left on stage to “keep on dancing on her own”.
Ali Holic also provides a powerful routine to Kesha’s uplifting ballad, This Is Me, standing strong in the centre of the stage, commanding the audience’s attention and respect. She does all this while also dressed in bad-a*s thigh-high leather boots, a dramatic sequin-detailed bodysuit with attached cape which transforms into a slinky, high-cut black sequinned dress. Contrastingly, Drag King Justin Thyme’s routine focussed on humour, bringing the audience to cheers and laughter with his routine to Aerosmith’s Dude (Looks Like A Lady) as he stripped down to some rather feminine under-garments from his original maroon power-suit.
Despite a mainly all South Australian/Australian cast, Drag Supreme did also include an impressive international act whose flamenco-influenced routine (and dress) was a lot of fun to watch underneath the dramatic red and yellow lighting. It got even better when she was joined on-stage for J-Lo’s Ain’t It Funny by Justin Thyme, who at first plays her male dance partner but then re-enters the stage wearing bull horns.
Drag Supreme is not only during the Fringe, but runs every month in Adelaide as a production of Haus of Kong, a drag collective created by Kween Kong. This performance is simply their special Fringe show, so, if the Fringe ending will leave you with artistic and theatrical withdrawals, you’re lucky that the next Drag Supreme will be taking place at the end of April at the Rhino Room to fill that Fringe-hole in your heart!
This fun, creative, energetic and colourful show will entertain any audience member with its wide array of drag acts, unique performers and great song choices, plus you can’t miss any chance to miss Kween Kong when she’s around!
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Rating out of 5: 4 Dragtastic
Arts, Lion Arts Centre, Corner North Tce
& Morphett St, Adelaide,
Season: 13 – 14 March 2020
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $25 – $30