It was Friday night and I found myself in front of my mirror coating my eyelashes in mascara and smearing highlighter over any bare section of my face, because I was headed off to a drag show, and nothing says drag like larger than life eyelashes and a godly glow. Call me by Monét, starring the Rupaul Drag Race Season 10 Miss Congeniality winner Monét X Change, graced the Leeds University Union Riley Smith Theatre with its presence on the 2nd of November. For those of you who eat, sleep and breath drag Miss Monét needs no introduction, but for you drag virgins out there Monét X Change is one of America’s favourite drag queens, who often leaves audiences in fits of laughter and on the edge of their seats.
In true drag show fashion, the show started late, which gave the audience plenty of time to head to the bar and get some drinks in them. The opening act and host of the show Rujazzle (pictured below), a Glaswegian painted lady, set the tone of the entire show with her nautical comedic lip synch to ‘In the Navy’ by the Village People which was spliced with political speeches concerning the Don’t ask, don’t tell policy in the American Armed Forces. Her opening set also included several jokes regarding the Bermuda triangle and seamen; I’ll let you figure that one out. To close the set, she had the whole theatre belting out the words to Bohemian Rhapsody, which left us all of ready and raring to go.
Then it was the moment we had all been waiting for, Monét X Change had arrived! The minute she walked into the room everything felt electric and the audience erupted into a chorus of cheers and YASSS QUEEN’s. In her own live rendition of Circle of Life, personalised to tell the story of her life, Monét demonstrated her outstanding vocals and her very own brand of humour. DJ Natātzu was a great addition to the show, providing comedic sound effects and holding entertaining rapport with Monét and the audience.
I am a firm believer that there is something for everyone at a drag show and this kaleidoscopic show was no exception; with lip syncs, live singing and several very graphic yet hilarious anecdotes about her time on the road, Monét had us hanging on her every word the entire hour. For all the die-hard drag race fans there was plenty of behind the scenes tea that left us all gagging, including an entire show reel of Monét’s failed audition tapes. If you have never been to a drag show before, I highly recommend you catch Monét at one of her upcoming shows, or get yourself down to your nearest local show, not only for the incredible costumes, makeup, comedy and performances, but because they are inclusive, safe spaces full of people who just want to have a great time and appreciate the art of drag.
Images Courtesy of Slay Presents