We caught TuckShop’s hit show Death Drop three times during its West End runs in 2020, 2021 and 2022. New show Death Drop: Back in the Habit is not a direct sequel – it’s a new story with original characters – but the premise is much the same: a high-camp, all-drag murder mystery. This time around the setting is the Convent of St Babs; we’re introduced to a gaggle of fierce nuns and their Mother Superior, who have their peace and tranquility interrupted as a serial slayer starts slashing their way through the sisters.
The cast for the show includes Drag Race US royalty Willam, alongside Drag Race UK stars Victoria Scone, Cheryl Hole and River Medway, with drag king LoUis CYfer (a winner of Drag Idol UK, who featured in the original West End production of Death Drop) completing the principal cast. It’s an exciting quintet of drag excellence – each brings their own unique brand to the stage, and they’re all strong in their own right, but we particularly enjoyed the interplay between Victoria Scone as Mother Superior and LoUis CYfer as Father Alfie Romeo, visiting from the Vatican – they have a wonderful dynamic and riff off each other brilliantly.
If you caught the previous instalment of Death Drop you’ll know the sort of thing to expect – it’s not big or clever (although there are a couple of topical references, such as the nods to Liz Truss or the energy crisis), with the comedy largely derived from high-camp slapstick humour and breaking the fourth wall, playing up to the audience. It’s a low-budget production – the props are naff – but our queens know this and work with it, encouraging audience members to use our imaginations as they run along corridors via the theatrical magic of lighting and sound.
It’s an impressive evolution for Death Drop as a brand. While the events of this show don’t follow on from the original play, it very much feels like part of a series, and even includes Willam making an unexpected but enjoyable musical reference to the original show (this moment clearly went down well with the crowd, many of whom were singing and clapping along). While Willam may have top billing on the poster, we felt it was Victoria Scone who came into her own here – we barely got to know her on Drag Race, but she’s fantastic in this show: effortlessly charismatic and with a natural stage presence, she steals many of the scenes.
There’s a lot of fun to be had with Death Drop: Back in the Habit. It’s unlikely to win awards for its paper-thin plot or amusingly low-budget production values, but it’s a show overflowing with charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent – it’s stupid, silly, and a wonderfully enjoyable night out. If you need some lighthearted camp comedy to lift your mood – look no further.
GAY TIMES gives Death Drop: Back in the Habit – 4/5
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