Guest post by Amrat Khorana
I was quite looking forward to this show for a few reasons, primarily because of the popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, which I have only seen a few episodes of but found very entertaining. I’m not too familiar with the drag scene and have only attended a drag bingo event previously, so wasn’t sure what to expect from this show.
A lovely venue, The Crazy Coqs is located behind Piccadilly Circus, Soho in Brasserie Zédel, and being centrally located there are ample food and drink options. It was not the most obvious though that the Crazy Coqs was within the Brasserie. It was a pleasant surprise to experience the intimacy of the space and the art deco, cabaret-style layout and design, which transports you to the stunning era of 1920s Jazz - a genre of music I love!
The show was as described, a very modern twist to an old-school classic drag show. Female impersonator Randy Roberts was indeed very funny and witty, and engagement with the audience so very natural. There were some jokes with and at the expense of some audience members, but they were respectful, friendly and safe, although I was still nervous as I was right at the front. Luckily, I didn’t get picked.
For me there is always an apprehension about shows that advertise comedy and impersonation, and the question always arises in my mind - will it be genuinely funny and authentic? This show was a beautiful success and, at points, laugh out loud. There was plenty of banter and just enough innuendo. But the thing that really elevated the show was the topical content and authenticity. The jokes came from the performer’s life experiences, which included navigating the turbulous political landscape in America. The political content was far from boring though! It was well-rounded and balanced, funny and something we can all relate to. The theme of aging disgracefully was comically well placed throughout the show.
The impersonations were great and deliberately caricatured. Bette Midler was good, but my favourite was Cher, which really showcased Randy Roberts’ vocal range and ability. Most of the songs were familiar so I sang along when I knew the words, and the enjoyment was aided with a nice glass of bubbly. This, in addition to the glamourous costume changes on stage (and wig changes), added to the talent and showgirl essence. Drag certainly became him and Randy Roberts was a huge success receiving a standing ovation.
In all the fun, I nearly left without settling my drinks bill! I would highly recommend a visit to the show even if you're slightly unsure of drag, and bring friends.
Venue: The Crazy Coqs
Dates: 15th to 16th September
Running time: around 70 minutes without an interval
Box office: 020 7734 4888