Original Idea: Christopher D.Clegg
Writer: Holly Stars
Music/Lyrics: Flo & Joan
Director: Jesse Jones
Drag has always been a major institution in the UK, but since the creation of Ru Paul’s Drag Race a major resurgence of drag has firmly taken place, so it is no surprise to see the start of cross-over productions. This year at the Cube in Corby we see the first fully drag family pantomime, and while Death Drop most certainly isn’t family-friendly – it’s a delight to see a dramatic murder mystery get the drag make-over.
Written by Holly Stars from an original idea by producer Christopher D Clegg, we are transported back in time to 1991, where Sir Jimmy Saville is still making dreams come true and where the beautiful royal relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana is about to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Several guests have been invited to a dinner party at the ominous Tuck Island by the mysterious Lady Von Fistenburg in honour of the royal couple’s marital achievement. Things don’t at all go to plan, when the small number of guests start to be killed one, by one, in rather hilarious and often gory ways, but who is the killer and why would they want to see this eclectic bunch dead?
Stars has created a murderously manic and laugh-out-loud comedy, her script is witty and just as sharp as the murderer’s blade. Not only can she write a cracking script but playing all three Bottermley Sisters is a masterstroke. Blue, Spread and Brie (all named after their mum’s favourite cheeses) are hired to help cater and look after the guests of Tuck Island and needless to say the result is comedy gold!
Attending the dinner party is Rich Whiteman, a gingerly weaselly conservative MP played with wonderful limpness from Richard Energy. Fresh from Season 1 of Drag Race Australia, Karen from Finance plays hated journalist Morgan Pierce from the World of News tabloid – she finds a great balance of being able to love and hate her toxic character perfectly. Joining her, fellow Drag Race stars Ra’jah O’Hara (US All-Stars) and Willam (Drag Race season 4) bring a flamboyant air to proceedings. O’Hara is hilarious as Summer Raines a TV Weather Girl with more than her fair share of personal thunderstorms to settle, while Willam plays the bitter almost forgotten has-been pop star Shazza.
Rounding off the cast are two excellent performances, Georgia Frost plays the TV Producer Phil Maker with a brilliant sense of irony, they ensure plenty of laughs can be found within the character but also ensuring the more toxic elements of masculinity are brought to the forefront. But it is the performance from Vinegar Strokes (UK Drag Race Season 1) that really steals the show, she is brilliant, her comic timing is utter perfection, and her surprise twist in act two is a real hoot.
Death Drop isn’t going to be remembered as the pinnacle of dramatic art, but it will go down as a fantastic night’s entertainment that provides plenty of laughs and a thoroughly enjoyable night out at the theatre. After the past 18 months, everybody needs a little bit of light and laughter in their lives and Death Drop provides both of those things in abundance.
Runs until Sat 16 October then continues its UK Tour