Last night, I went to my first drag show. It was the penultimate show of Ms Cracker’s one woman show It’s Time.
And let me tell you, it’s time to talk about how much I loved it, Ms Cracker and the whole art form of drag.
I, like a lot of the world have become completely smitten with the world of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and learning about all the queens, their styles, influences and talents. It’s the perfect mash up of America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway and Paris is Burning. Everything about how it makes me feel, and why I like it has probably been said before, but I love how it manages to not take itself too seriously, meanwhile allowing people to dive into their greatest fantasies and explain why it means so much to them; to dress up like a woman. As a cisgender woman, I completely agree. Donning your best impression of femininity is a hoot, and it totally ought to be spread out to everyone.
I’d bought the ticket in a spur of a moment decision, imitated by my housemate, months ago. To be honest, I’d completely forgotten about it until she reminded me a few weeks ago. Being infected by cold, in both weather and respiratory system, the idea of not hurling myself into bed was so painful, but as the day went on, I lent into the notion of not being a complete bore, and hauled my ass to The Clapham Grand.
Our host for the event was Victoria Secret, a hilarious Irish drag queen I’m most definitely going to do a deep dive into. Calling up four audience members, she convinced them to recreate the Kitty Girl moment from the finale of All Stars 3, with the impromptu Shangela taking the crown home, winning an Ms Cracker branded apron. Afterward, we were treated to a lip sync by a queen whose name I couldn’t quite catch, but gave a hell of a performance. In the costume change of the main event, she treated us to a lip sync to Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, and with its accompanying slide show of PIERS MORGAN, NEXT, BREXIT, NEXT, HOMOPHOBIA, NEXT, SEXISM, NEXT, really reminded me the scope of drag, about how its about coming together to rally against society’s hegemony of right wing nonsense. Drag is inherently linked to the emancipation of marginalised communities, and no matter how commercially glossy it gets, its Stonewall roots ought never be forgotten.
The title of the show referred to how it was time to stop the bullshit, and how Ms Cracker had been born of two parents who hated each other, so therefore she never fully learnt to love herself, and instead of hitting the deep seeded issues on the head, she was medicated with “booze, boys, bills and pills.” Each temporary, but ultimately, useless bandage exacerbated the underlying issue, until she lost it all, broke down, but discovered drag.
Each vice was represented with a vogue laced lip sync, introduced by slick stand up, concluding with a ballad breakdown to her life saving solution; drag.
The whole tone was deeply American, with its messages of “self love”, but sometimes thats exactly what the doctor ordered, particularly on a cold, sleeting Tuesday night. Cracker was insightful, funny, honest, and deserved tens across the board!
The show was concluded with a message of how women and queers need each other, and girl, she is right.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch her next tour American Woman in 2020!