Review: RuPaul’s Drag Race UK tour delivers energetic and show-stopping night of talent – Adam Maidment


RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season two was a cultural reset when it aired on our screens this time last year.

Many of us reeling from the pandemic, it was much needed relief full of drag, gags and Bing Bang Bongs.

So when the entire season cast of the hit BBC Three show were finally able to take to the road as part of a nationwide 42-date tour, it was indeed a must-see for any fan of drag.

All twelve queens – including Tayce, Bimini Bon Boulash and Lawrence Chaney – took to the stage as part of a glittering showcase like no other at Manchester’s Opera House on Saturday night (February 12).

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As soon as RuPaul’s iconic Drag Race theme tune blasted out of the stage speakers, crowds were on their feet energetically ready to dance, sing and laugh.

Led by winner Lawrence Chaney, each act was given a chance to showcase their talents which certainly made for a rich and varied night of fun: where else will you get to see a drag-inspired rendition of the Cat In The Hat followed by a pole dance to The Prodigy’s Firestarter?

Joe Black

What was so amazing to see is that each queen was so massively well-received by the crowd.

And rightly so, it is one of the best Drag Race casts ever, after all.

Asstina Mandela kicked off proceedings with a lively dance number, closely followed by a hilariously bizarre performance from Ginny Lemon about being ‘over my overdraft’ (can sadly totally relate).

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We were then treated to musical numbers from Tia Kofi and Rochdale’s very own Veronica Green before a slice of vintage cabaret action from Joe Black.

Aunt Kofi

Sister Sister gave us an axe-wielding lip sync to Patsy Cline’s ‘Crazy’ while Cherry Valentine delivered one of the best performances of the night by paying homage to her Gypsy roma roots in the form of empowering anthems from the likes of Shakira, Beyonce and Christina Milan.

A’whora got everyone literally on their feet for a rousing walk through some of the biggest 90’s clubland anthems. There were splits, turns, bounces, jumps and everything in between from the Nottinghamshire queen – even while recovering from a knee injury, which certainly didn’t show.

Scotland’s Ellie Diamond gave us a glimpse into the bizarre with a number taken right out of Dr Seuss’ Cat In The Hat which only further highlighted just how much of an eye for make-up and costumery they have.

Lawrence Chaney

Tayce’s number was silky, sexy and completely filthy. While brilliant and oozing with talent, it was certainly not one for the kids considering the song’s content. But it was brilliant and just what we’ve come to expect from the self-proclaimed Welsh ‘hound’.

Bimini Bon Boulash flipped and switched as they pole danced their way through a rendition of The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ mixed with their own song ‘God Save This Queen’.

It was dangerous, wild and so on-brand for Bimini – who got one of the biggest responses from the crowd.

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As any winner should, Lawrence finished off the night with a space-inspired number blending David Bowie and Lady Gaga together before each queen came back for a quick recap of the iconic lip syncs from the show.

The cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season two on stage together

Of course, it wouldn’t be a season two tour without at least a tease of the United Kingdoll’s very own bop ‘UK Hun?’ – although fans hoping for a full sing-a-long of the viral hit will be a little disappointed.

It’s crazy to think just how massive Drag Race has become over the years. The sell-out crowd in Manchester was a varied mix of people of all ages all who fully embraced each and every queen and their talent.

It was a perfect night out and a reminder for us all of just how these queens did actually give us Drag Race fans something to look forward to during a very difficult lockdown.

It served as a perfect reminder of what a brilliant batch of drag artists the UK has to offer and anyone who has the chance to go to a drag show in Manchester should definitely take up the opportunity.

With the season three cast set to tour later this year – with two stops in Manchester – it’s a show you certainly don’t want to miss out on.

You can get tickets to the season three tour in October here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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