Sometimes, you’ve got to make that trek across the M62 and head for Manchester – and so it was last night, with a date at The Ritz to catch RuPaul’s Condragulations: Battle of the Seasons tour. Fans of the reality show could hardly ask for more, short of an appearance from RuPaul herself; this high-energy evening of all-out entertainment was a winner from beginning to end.
Manchester gay bar AXM has been bringing Drag Race stars to the North West for some time under their ‘Holy Tranity’ banner, but with this they really took things up to 11. This supercharged cabaret was hosted by one of the show’s judges, Michelle Visage, and gave solo turns for a number of the most popular break-out stars of its first six seasons. The line up varies from city to city.
If the names Adore Delano, Ivy Winters, Manila Luzon, Sharon Needles, Jinkx Monsoon, Alaska and Pandora Boxx mean anything to you then you’ll know what to expect – style, sass, creativity, humour and charisma to spare. Catchy tie-in club tracks were performed live (Manila’s Hot Couture, Alaska’s Your Makeup is Terrible, Adore’s I Look Fuckin Cool), there were glammed up cover versions, sketches, and call backs to memorable moments of Drag Race ‘herstory’ – think Snatch Game, or Manila’s legendary MacArthur Park lip synch.
Tickets for BOTS were expensive, true, and a lot of fans were probably priced out, but this was no easy cash-in; ultimately the experience was so much fun, created and performed by a team thoroughly enjoying themselves and working their backsides off to entertain. Any fan of Drag Race will know the huge amount of versatility and talent queens need to demonstrate if they are going to succeed, but still, to see it up close and personal on this tour was something very special indeed.
As Drag Race addicts, this was not one for MADEUP to miss. Here are some images from the night.