The Tuckshop || Drag Show Review #1
This piece was originally written for my friend Jinx’s blog Drag Up Your Life, which is a wonderful space full of incredible drag related things. Be sure to check it out! (I also edit it)
On Monday night I had the absolute pleasure of attending The Tuckshop, a new fortnightly drag show in Soho set up by Tuckshop and hosted by HERR, with a cast of Tuckshop babes and drag performers from all over London and beyond. Taking place every other Monday (the next show will be on the 1st October), and held in the Phoenix Arts Club, I went to the very first one a couple weeks ago that acted like a sort of pilot if you will. And luckily, the people wanted more!
Monday’s lineup was fantastic. Hosted by HERR, as every show will be, there were performances from Poppycock, Glew, Sister Fibrosis, Kitty Scott Claus, and Ophelia Love. I’ve had the joy of seeing all of these performers before, but they never cease to amaze and the night ended in absolute carnage as these sort of shows tend to do.
HERR, ever the incredible and slightly more than weird lipsync artist, performed three different numbers - two classics and one new one. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen her Countdown inspired number, but I can tell you that it never fails to make me cackle like a little pixie. It’s absolute genius - much like her second number, inspired by everyone’s favourite place, the internet. Featuring all your favourite memes, it’s completely ridiculous and completely fantastic in equal measures. I’ve only seen this number once before, but when I tell you I howled with laughter, I literally howled with laughter. HERR’s third and final number was a new one: inspired by Yzma from The Emperor's New Groove and interspersed with Little Mix’s ‘Power’, it was just insane. I loved every single second. HERR also looked incredible - like a flying squirrel, but fashion.
Poppycock was the first performer, and I first saw her at the previous event where she blew me away with her vocals. An absolutely stunning queen, Poppycock took to the stage and sang three little songs for her adoring audience. First (because it’s Halloween season now) ‘I Put A Spell On You’ - always an audience pleaser, and sang to perfection. Second, a jazzy version of Beyonce’s Halo. I saw her sing this before and loved it then, but loved it even more the second time round. It probably shouldn’t work, but it absolutely does. Third, finally, and my favourite: a rendition of ‘I Can’t Do It Alone’ from Chicago - fitting, since that’s the show playing in the Phoenix Theatre above the club. I loved this performance more than I can say - high energy, high dance, high campery, every second was incredible. Although the best bit might have been when Poppycock danced down the side and all the queens stood there looked up in shock at this ginger hurricane twirling past them.
Second was Sister Fibrosis. I think. I don’t actually remember, but I know she was second or third please don’t sue me. Anyway. Seeing Sister perform is always a treat for everyone involved, and this time was no different. Delivering witty one liners in her usual deadpan manner, no subject was off limits - much to the delight/shock/horror of the audience. It was hilarious, and despite some touchy subject matters I could not stop laughing. If you’ve never seen Sister Fibrosis and you’re in need of a laugh, go to one of her shows. You will not regret it. I mean, you might. But it’s very unlikely.
Then came Glew. Clad in neon dress (that kept slipping down in the tit area - there is a reason why strapless dresses are the work of the devil, and it’s because they don’t stay up), Glew treated us to a right show (and her right nipple). Performing two different songs, Glew first did a rendition of her Jeremy Kyle inspired number which is, I have to say, one of the funniest performances I’ve seen. And I’ve seen it before. I won’t spoil the whole thing for you, but needless to say Glew does ‘16 year old chav’ very, very well. Her second number was the classic Sugababes ‘Push The Button’. With added appliances that have buttons to push. Inspired.
The final two of the night were Kitty and Ophelia, and this is where everything really began to descend into madness. Two of my absolute favourite queens on the scene, they used to host a night together called ‘The Two Nancys’.
Kitty was up first, and kicked off her set with a beautiful rendition of ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, complete with Ophelia blowing torn up bits of napkin over her as ‘snow’, and Herr sprinkling water everywhere. Absolute chaos. Kitty also sang a song from Mamma Mia but it really escapes me now as to which one she did. It might have been Money Money Money, but my memory is fairly horrendous and I got no footage from the night. Forgive me, it was very very good. That much I do remember. I’ve been sat here for the last five minutes trying to remember what else was sung but clearly my memory is shot to absolute bits. I know it wasn’t Burn. I think it was from a musical. I know it was really very good and I very much enjoyed it! I have just been reliably informed it wasn’t a song from a musical. It was in fact a slow version of Carly Rae Jepson’s ‘Cut To The Feeling’ and it was camp as tits.
We were also treated to a couple of duets from the two. In between Kitty and Ophelia’s sets they came together for a delicious rendition of several songs from Les Miserables, starting with Kitty singing I Dreamed A Dream, and dancing through On My Own, and quite possibly something else that evades me but I just remember it was bloody good. The very last song was also a duet from the two of them - One Night Only from Dreamgirls. A fantastic note to end the night on, complete with Kitty hiding at the back of the room and peering around the wall. Complete madness of the best kind.
Ophelia’s set was, surprisingly, not Purple Rain and Not My Father’s Son. Instead we were treated to the vocal delights of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’ which will never not be one of my favourite songs. She (Ophelia, not Amy) was also dressed in the most stunning red strapless dress with a dropped hem, and looked utterly fabulous. Ophelia also sang Sweet Transvestite from Rocky Horror, and Mamma Mia from Mamma Mia. I know she did, because I texted someone. Thank you past me. She also tried to do a Britney number, but accidentally put the sung version instead of the backing track onto her list. Which anyone could do, really. So we didn’t get that. But the rest of the set was incredible, and topped off with One Night Only there couldn’t have been much more we could have asked for.
If you’re free on a Monday and have nothing better to do, be sure to get yourself down to The Tuckshop. It’s only £6, and it’s a fabulous night out that’s totally worth catching the night bus home for.