By Dylan Sutcliffe, recent Theatre graduate
Welcoming an exciting ensemble of drag queen super stars, ESDR (Eat Sleep Drag Repeat) - the home of Ru Paul's Drag Race artists in Bristol and beyond - present another evening of eleganza extravaganza.
Often having too many in-show references and being packed with die-hard fans seeing their favourite contestants in the flesh for the first time, shows featuring queens from Ru Paul’s Drag Race can sometimes alienate audience members new to drag. For fans, a famous quote or shady comment about a fellow contestant is more than enough to elicit a reaction. But this does not necessarily make it a good show.
Starring two Drag Race queens, Bob’s Comedy Funhouse instead offered a night of camp, crudeness and utter hilarity which had the audience roaring in their seats regardless of how many episodes of Drag Race they had consumed.
Featuring the titular Bob the Drag Queen, Drag Race ambassador The Vivienne, Melbourne’s premier ‘corporate’ queen Karen From Finance and hosted by legendary drag prince Alfie Ordinary, the line-up was well paced and consistently delivered engaging and hilarious performances.
Karen From Finance gave us some brilliant lip-sync performances with a Dolly Parton medley that had the padding and rhinestones to match. The Vivienne’s crude comedy set and flawless Kim Woodburn impression were impressive to say the least.
However, the undeniable star of the night was the Funhouse’s namesake: Bob the Drag Queen. The New York queen was pure comedy and required only herself and the microphone to reduce the entire room to fits of laughter.
Bob’s act seldom relied on her time on Drag Race to provoke cheers or laughter from the crowd and instead was a true testament to Bob’s talents as an entertainer as well as a drag icon. Her unbelievably tight lip-sync based off Ella Fitzgerald’s epic scat solos showed any and all aspiring queens the standard they should be aspiring to.
Bob was able to alternate between a well-rehearsed segment and spontaneous audience interactions flawlessly showing everyone in the room just how a drag show was done.
The night was brilliantly hosted by ESDR’s resident drag prince Alfie Ordinary who knew how to effortlessly fill time when needed. He was a brilliant performer, delivering comedy and music to keep the audience hyped and energetic.
It was great to see the effort being made to share the joys of drag with an even larger audience. - Dylan Sutcliffe
One thing I must note that was refreshing to see from a drag gig was the brilliant steps taken to make the show accessible to a wider audience. With wheelchair accessibility being available in the Anson Rooms at the Students' Union and the tour’s sign interpreter remaining on stage for the entire show, it was great to see the effort being made to share the joys of drag with an even larger audience.
In summary, Bob’s Comedy Funhouse can easily be described in two words. Drag Excellence.Featured: Courtesy of David Ayllon
Are you keeping up with the new UK series of Ru Paul's Drag Race?