We’re big fans of TuckShop’s work here at GAY TIMES – we’ve been to check out various iterations of their delightfully daft all-drag murder mystery Death Drop as well as pantomimes of Cinderella (2019, with Baga Chipz) and Dick Whittington (2021, with Kitty Scott-Claus and Cheryl Hole). Back for 2023, for one week only at London’s Harold Pinter theatre, we have an all-drag, adult-only take on Sleeping Beauty. From Drag Race UK we have have Michael Marouli, Kate Butch, Victoria Scone and Kitty Scott-Claus; supporting them are a host of TuckShop kings and queens – Ophelia Love, Yshee Black, Kemah Bob and LoUis CYfer.

It’s far from the slickest show we’ve ever seen, but our stars lean into this for some enjoyably silly results. Kate Butch, as Queen Camilla, asks us to join in with a song, promising it will be “chaotic and under-rehearsed” – she’s not wrong, but that’s part of the charm. What ensues is a ridiculous take on the Twelve Days of Christmas – the various gifts being replaced with an array of drugs, sex toys and twinks – it’s enjoyably daft.

What we have here is a show that’s camp, chaotic and a lot of fun. There’s some wonderful physical comedy – an early highlight being Kate Butch repeatedly dropping her newborn baby and bending sheepishly over to pick them up, hoping no one has noticed – with each star bringing something of their own to proceedings. Kitty has some brilliantly deadpan throwaway jokes; Victoria nails the panto villain brief with extreme next-level camp; Michael Marouli has a show-stealing outfit and the most hilariously underwhelming stage entrances, often accompanied by a handful of confetti or party streamers. There are a few references to Drag Race UK, but not too many to alienate audience members who may be unfamiliar with the show.

Sleeping Beauty makes for an enjoyable evening. It’s only on for a week so, unsurprisingly, it’s not a big budget production – there isn’t much in the way of a set and don’t expect any costume changes – and it’s a bit under-rehearsed, with a few slipped lines and some missed sound cues with the microphones. It all feels a little ramshackle, as though it could fall apart at any moment, but for the most part it holds together. There are plenty of big laughs, silly singalongs and some good fun audience participation too – it has everything you need for a festive night out.

GAY TIMES gives Sleeping Beauty – 3/5

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