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Alyssa - Memoirs of a Queen

4
Seen at the Vaudeville Theatre
By Derek

If you’re one of her friends, fans or family, this show’s outrageous lip sync and tut will do very nicely indeed.

Alyssa Edwards smoothly sashays her way into London’s glittering West End, although she claims to have had to Google to find out where that is.

From a young gay boy in Mesquite, Texas, to fame on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 5 and a triumphant return to season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Alyssa is hailed as one of “the most powerful drag queens in America” by New York Magazine. She went on to the Netflix docuseries Dancing Queen, and now brings her revelatory memoirs to the London stage. Much of the second half relies on your knowledge of her Drag Race and Netflix appearances but it is all accomplished to a high standard.

She disports glorious gowns and various tumultuous wigs. The dancers Austin Farrell, Luke Vella and Billy Sawyer earn their fees, allowing time for the star to change costume, adding comedy foils and moving the scenery. They add some impressive moves even if some of Justin’s choreography seems dated. Her version of Wrecking Ball, which closes the first half, impressed me most with the pared-back costume and wig, allowing her to present beautiful dance opposite a sensual Alex Brown.

This really is a show for aficionados’ and for them it really delivers, as they whoop and holler for every pout. If you have not bought-in to the drag-race extravaganza, you may be somewhat confused: if you have, you will be ecstatic!

Derek Benfield


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