The Tuckshop 2 || Drag Show Review #3
The Tuckshop is fast becoming my favourite drag show to attend, ever. Being that it’s in a delightful venue and features a rotating cast of some of my all time favourite drag performers alongside a selection of incredible headliners and the host HERR, what’s not to like? Nothing, I tell you. Except for the fact that it’s on a Monday. 10pm on a Monday. Not good for productivity on a Tuesday, but great fun at the time.
And yes, I realise that yesterday’s post was also a drag show review, but when you do literally nothing else with your life what am I supposed to write about? It can’t all be suicide and self harm, gotta liven it up somehow.
Righto. On with the show. And what a show it was. I even wrote down what everyone did this time so there would be no repeat of the shambles of the last Tuckshop review.
HERR is always an incredible host, bringing the exact right amount of hilarity, campery, and general all round ridiculousness to the stage. She looked stunning (despite the crotch hole) in an all white ensemble - that’s French for outfit, possibly - with a delightful curly grey updo and pink headscarf. Absolutely gorgeous, slight Ab Fab vibes. Or drunk aunt at the party. Or a delightful mix of the two, wound up with a gin and tonic. Whatever image you choose, she’s always great. And so are her performances.
There is no other lip sync artist quite like HERR, and I mean that in the best way possible. She did three numbers, one I’ve seen before and two that were new. Her first number was a Molly Weasley inspired number (who, by the way, is definitely the best Harry Potter character), with plenty of Molly’s iconic soundbites from across the films. It’s insane and excellent and I always howl with laughter. HERR’s second number was a new one. And - I know I’ve said this before but stay with me - it might just be my favourite number that she’s ever done. A more simplistic number, it started out as just a lipsync to Beyonce’s ‘I Was Here’. The climax of the piece came when HERR brandished a stamp with her name and social media handle and started stamping everyone’s hands. When I tell you I cry laughed. It was one of the most iconic things I have ever seen, and really one of the best ways to get your name out there. Only HERR would think of it, and that’s why she’s one of the best queens on the scene.
The first performer up (I’ll get to HERR’s final number soon) was Chanel No 5. No surprises for guessing where her name inspiration comes from. That’s right, Gucci. She’s an incredible singer and burlesque artist, who hosts her own night every Wednesday (Chanel’s Speakeasy), and co-hosts a night once a month with Flynn Rideher and Glew. At The Tuckshop she performed a delicious two numbers: the first was a rendition of Big Spender, and the second a jazzy version of Britney Spears’ Toxic. Perfect songs for the venue - The Phoenix Artists Club underneath The Phoenix Theatre where Chicago is currently playing - Big Spender is one of my personal favourite songs so I had a fab time. Absolutely love it. Camp as you like. She’s also the only performer I forgot to get any photos of because I truly am absolute trash.
After a short break, Monroe was the second performer to hit the stage, dressed like a beacon of fire in the most stunning sequined dress with all the colours of red and orange you could dream of, topped off with a lovely red wig. She looked so insanely gorgeous (despite not being able to a) move much, b) sit down, or c) easily get onto the stage). Monroe has fast become one of my favourite performers on the scene and she has the most delicious voice. She also did two numbers: The Life of the Party from The Wild Party, and Never Enough from The Greatest Showman. I know. I know. The Greatest Showman is old news and everyone hates it. Well, newsflash: I’m total trash (we’ve been over this) and it still has a place in my heart, and Never Enough is one of my top favourite songs of all time. It was a stunning performance, and I loved every single second. Despite Monroe forgetting how to talk to an audience the second she stepped on stage which, to be honest, was probably more funny than anything else she could have said.
After Monroe was when the night really took a turn and descended into the sort of carnage that I absolutely delight in. Poor sweet angel Ophelia Love took to the stage with a cold (although you would never have known, she never mentioned it), and was met by all manner of technical issues. I might have mentioned this before (this post is just turning into me saying this for every performer) but Ophelia has been one of my top favourite performers of all time for a long while now, and I was thrilled when I heard she was going to do some Disney numbers because the lucky bitch is at Disney for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, she ended up only being able to sing Colours of the Wind (her Part Of That World track was, for some reason, only 28 seconds long which is not her fault (although she does seem to keep having track issues, is there sabotage going on?)) - and it really is a tricksy song to remember the lyrics to. Nevertheless - enjoyed every second. Especially Kitty in the back singing the lyrics at her. Ophelia finished her set with a rendition of Sweet Transvestite and various other Rocky Horror songs, which is one of my favourite things (besides Purple Rain) to hear her sing, and The Wizard and I from Wicked which was just excellent. I love that song, and I loved her set.
Once Ophelia had been kicked off stage by HERR, the headliner Vinegar Strokes took to the stage. I love Vinegar. You might know her from the stage - she’s currently performing in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, but she’s one of the most incredible drag performers. Clad in a leopard print jumpsuit (which, incidentally, I was also wearing - different style, but same idea), Vinegar opened her set with a song all about being Vinegar Strokes, aka the female Whoopi Goldberg/Stevie Wonder/etc etc. She then launched into a version of Bang Bang, which was genuinely hilarious despite it not being a hilarious song, before introducing the next number as having ‘soundbites from Monroe, Chanel, Ophelia, and Kitty’. This turned out to be dogs barking, which is so stupid but also one of the funniest things I’ve seen. Vinegar rounded out her set with a rendition of Madonna’s Burning Up, and finished with Netta’s Toy. Toy is one of the campest songs out there, and I loved every second.
Once Vinegar had finished, the show had nearly come to a close - but not before HERR took to the stage one last time. Now, last Friday Cher released her album of ABBA covers and I for one have not stopped listening to it. I genuinely don’t know how many times I’ve stuck it on at this point, and I was more than a little excited when HERR’s final number turned out to be a mish mash of all Cher’s new covers - finishing with everyone in the room singing and dancing to Dancing Queen. Is there a better way to end a Monday? I really don’t think there is.
If you’re in London and bored on a Monday night, I highly recommend you get yourself down to The Tuckshop. Tickets are available on the door, and it’s always a bloody great time. I’ve really committed myself at this point to attending every single one of the Tuckshop shows, so you’ll see me there. Despite it being a complete ballache to get home. I had four Ubers cancel on me last night, three drunk men come up and talk to me, one drunk man kiss me on the cheek, and it took forty minutes to get to Blackfriars station. Absolute technical nightmare.
Anyway. Tuckshop. Brilliant, always brilliant, loved every second.