cast pic

Picture: Matt Crockett

Death Drop

The Alexandra Theatre


There’s no denying that a stage full of  drag queens decked out in the most fabulous of sparkling dresses, coiffured wigs, and towering  high heels, parading amongst a set of vivid colour, is certainly a sight to behold. That’s the basic visual cue of Death Drop, the very first ` Dragatha Christie ` murder mystery of its kind, from the pen of Holly Stars.

It’s a gay club revue on steroids, packed with salacious humour, gore, innuendo, and outright bawdy sexuality. It might be billed as a sort of a thriller, but it’s one that throws any real story line out into to the thunderously stormy night, in favour of extracting yet more rapturous audience applause over the reveal of yet even more sequins.

There’s a lot of talent on hand though and the key attraction are the big names from RuPaul’s Drag Race. There’s the glamorous Willam as the reluctant pop star Shazza, Ra’Jah O'Hara as Summer Raines, Vinegar Strokes as Lady Von Fistenburg, and Karen From Finance as the Celebrity Journalist Morgan Pierce.

Richard Energy and Georgia Frost also make fantastic contributions as their outrageous and exaggerated male counterparts. 

Everyone gets their own very individual entrances, as of course the action takes place in an isolated manor house one stormy night. The guests arrive one by one to a dinner party organised by their mysterious host, to celebrate the wedding anniversary of the Prince and Princess of Wales. In true Murder Mystery style the guests meet their demise in suitably over dramatic and occasionally disgustingly gory ways.

Often the gags slipped into ad lib and the staging faltered a little but the most memorable spots come in the form of the musical numbers and there simply were not enough of them.

There were times when the action was just irrelevant and the ideas over egged but it’s clear though that this is, a one of kind format and with a few edits and some real craft would be something of a sensation.

What is welcomed though is the complete disregard for any political correctness and a licence to say and do just about anything they want to. In this age of cancel culture that alone is gold.

As one of the first West End plays to appear after the Covid lockdown, Death Drops' instant success maybe also relies on the relief of just getting out and having fun. This show certainly provides that but the format has the potential to be so much more.

There’s is a famous quote accredited to H. Jackson Brown that says ‘You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes, after that you better know something’ .While this highly original fun format is packed with some highly entertaining parts, there are times when the action and humour drags (no pun) way past their individual sell by dates.  

It’s Holly Stars first full play and in the programme notes she amusingly claims to be the greatest playwright and Death Drop to be a masterpiece. It’s a long way from that but with this first experience now under her belt and an adoringly supportive audience, it’s certainly a franchise winner that can only get better. To 27-11-21

Jeff Grant


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