Theatre Review: RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Live Tour

Presented by: Live Nation, World of Wonder and Voss Events
Reviewed: 5 October, 2022

A few short months ago, Her Majesty’s Theatre was graced by the Queens of Six The Musical. On Wednesday 5 October, the Queens from seasons one and two of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under left their royal mark on the venue, and boy, did these girls werk it! Avid fans of the show filled the venue and each queen certainly slayed.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of the biggest and most successful reality TV shows going around. Originating in the United States, RuPaul’s Drag Race has quickly taken the world by storm, with iterations of the show appearing in Canada, the UK, Thailand, Spain, Italy, France, the Philippines, Chile, Denmark and Australia/New Zealand, not including the countless spin-offs. The premise of the show is to search for the next drag superstar. RuPaul mentors and judges the queens through weekly challenges, eliminating a queen each week until we are left with the season winners.

Each stop on the national tour features a selection of Queens from seasons one and two of the Down Under branch of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Adelaide was treated to performances from Art Simone, Jojo Zaho, Maxi Shield, Scarlet Adams, Aubrey Haive, Beverly Kills, Faúx Fúr, Hannah Conda, Kween Kong, Molly Poppinz, as well as season one winner Kita Mean and season two winner Spankie Jackzon.

The opening routine featured a parade of the Queens, each met by cheers from their fans and a well choreographed dance routine that filled the stage with exquisite costumes and more spandex and sequins than you could buy in any single Spotlight store. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I was in for coming to see this show, but after this energetic opening routine, I was hooked and wanted more.

The first half of the evening was hosted by season two winner, Spankie Jackzon. She was endearing and worked the crowd well, with great one-liners that left the audience in stitches. Kita Mean brought us an entertaining routine to Friend Like Me from Aladdin, complete with new lyrics about the queen herself. Kita Mean’s routine was snappy, creative and featured some excellent quick change costume illusions. Beverly Kills followed in a daring outfit and showcased some impressive whip cracking skills that was well received by her fans. Molly Poppinz’ fruity routine was humorous, and featured an almost burlesque-style striptease. Hannah Conda brought us a spell binding routine and a sensational costume reveal. Faúx Fúr’s routine was beautifully presented, and featured some moving choreography. Aubrey Haive brought us a cheeky Austin Powers inspired routine, in which she handled several quick changes, changing from Austin to a Fembot and then to Dr Evil, complete with Evil’s trademark bald head. The first act ended with Queen Spankie Jackzon showing everyone why she was crowned the winner of the second season. Her charm and stage craft were on point.

The second half was hosted by season one winner, Kita Mean. Like her routine in the first half, she was full of cheek and very engaging. The first performance of the second act was by the controversial queen Scarlet Adams. Whilst moments of her appearance and choices in season one may have left audiences questioning her motives, there was nothing controversial about her performance here. Showcasing her incredible skills on the pole, Scarlet’s performance was electrifying. Art Simone was up next and delivered her trademark sass in bucket loads, bringing us a laugh-out-loud stand up routine and rousing rendition of The Angels classic Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again. It is clear why Art Simone is a crowd favourite wherever she performs. Maxi Shield then brought us a fun, entertaining piece to Madonna’s classic Like A Prayer, which also showed why she is another crowd favourite. The most moving performance of the night has to go to Jojo Zaho, a First Nations queen. Jojo Zaho paid tribute to some historical moments in First Nation history, as well as paying respect to influential First Nations men and women, past, present and future. Jojo Zaho was very deserving of the standing ovation at the end of her performance. Rounding out act two was hometown local, Kween Kong. This local queen’s routine was a fierce example of why she is one of the best in the business, and her local fans certainly agreed.

The evening was rounded out by a disco routine by the full cast. Like the opening number, there were more sequins on stage than on a large mirror ball, but this fun, energetic routine had the entire venue on its feet by the end screaming and cheering for their favourite queens.

The whole evening was backed by four male dances, who slipped as easily between the different routines as they did their costumes. The stage was backed by a giant LCD screen that featured some impressive visual accompaniments to the evening, along with spectacular lighting.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Live Tour was a celebration of the wonderful art form of drag. The TV series has brought this incredible art form into the spotlight and the queens on stage tonight are all at the top of their field.

Reviewed by: Ben Stefanoff

Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre
Season: ended

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