Drag me to Love
Reviewed – 3rd February 2018
“an infectiously fun and flirty show combining drag performance with theatrical storytelling”
You can’t ask for much more out of your Saturday night when it includes stilettos, glitter, Gloria Gaynor and neon wigs. Drag Me To Love does all of the above. Featuring as part of the Omnibus Theatre’s ’96 Festival, a celebration of all things LGBTQ, it is an infectiously fun and flirty show combining drag performance with theatrical storytelling. This autobiographical fare features the all lip-synching, all dancing trio Bonnie and The Bonnettes, who relay in their own quirky manner, how they were brought together, to this moment in time.
Following the life of founding member Cameron Sharp, it is a coming-of-age story that tells the tale of growing up in Doncaster. It is filled with the usual pubescent worries and fears of trying to figure out who you really are. Sharp is soon drawn into the sparkly (if not slightly run down and sticky-floored) world of a local drag bar. Bagging a job of cleaning glasses, to earn his keep, it doesn’t take long before he has merited the chance to have a slot on stage. With a flurry of fishnets and fake lashes, learning the tricks of the trade from the more experienced queens, Sharp blossoms into his new, feisty, drag identity, Bonnie Love.
The other two-thirds that make up Bonnie and The Bonnettes, Hattie Eason and Becky Glendenning, take on the supporting roles, playing the various characters that stumble in and out of Bonnie Love’s life, until eventually they are themselves. Eason lends her powerful singing voice to the songs that Sharp lip-synchs to, whilst Glendenning (whose comic timing resembled that of Dawn French) offers a side splitting ribbon dance that is a highlight of the production.
Drag Me To Love certainly moves along at a fast pace. Coming in at just under an hour, the trio bounce from song to song, with the slight story slotted in-between. The magazine-style top ten lists about the dos and don’ts of making it as a drag queen suit the punchy, in-your-face nature of the production. However, the main bulk of the storytelling seems flimsy, as if it is only there to bulk out the lip-synching drag performances. It is wonderful to get to see underneath the drag queen persona, and Cameron Sharp does a fine job at presenting these moments of vulnerability and self-doubt. Nevertheless, the production could just do with extending these quieter, more dramatic moments that have more bite – they have the time! This would offer more of a varied change from the whimsical yet very charming display of foot stomping, crowd pleasing, diva-worshipping song and dance routines that are so utterly difficult not to smile and sing along to.
Reviewed by Phoebe Cole
Photography by Chris Bishop
Drag me to Love