Wednesday 17 April 2024

She Slayed: A Drag Murder Mystery review (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

What happens when four drag divas try to put on a show together? With such big egos and big hair, there can only be one answer: murder. She Slayed: A Drag Murder Mystery is a deliciously camp, uproarious whodunnit of a drag queen who is viciously murdered - but in a fashionable way.

Created by Nicholas Reynolds, She Slayed feels like it's a drag show pretending to be a comedy show instead of a comedy show pretending to be a drag show, and this is partly because of the four cast members and the confidence and experience they have as performers. The script, while allowing for plenty of ad-libbing and improv, is full of great one liners and sassy retorts between the characters. Reynolds has played to the individual strengths of the cast and so the concern here is not about finding the truth of their character but to go out there and have fun, which spills out into the audience.

Dolly Diamond - who has been gracing the stage for over two decades - is once again, a shining gem. Her brilliant wit and tight opening bring many laughs and she has a natural ability in making (dirty) jokes almost instantly based on her chit chats with audience members. New drag kid on the block Poussay is a joy to watch and it's wonderful to have her reunited with Diamond since their recent production of Ruthless! The Musical. While Poussay doesn't have much to say in the show, she makes up for it with her physicality and facial expressions.

Jens Radda as the resident femme fatale and Iva Rosebud as the venue’s starlet, much to the other’s resentment, both bring zesty comedic turns and excellent musical performances. Some of the exuberant musical numbers performed include "Let Me Be Your Star" - an original song from the musical TV series Smash - and Lucian Piane's "Too Many Daddies".

The show may be a little rough and the venue isn't your traditional theatre space, but it is acknowledged in different ways so that it feels like it's been specifically chosen for this very reason, which adds to the charm of the production. However, there are times when the speakers and sound set-up made it slightly difficult to hear the fast-paced dialogue and music. 

There's plenty of plot twists in She Slayed: A Drag Murder Mystery, but a disappointing twist is that it has sold out the rest of its season! Criminal! Here's hoping that there'll be more opportunities to stage this in the future so that more wannabe detectives can witness for themselves the lengths that these performers will go to for the glitz and glamour of stardom.


Venue: Grouse, 171 Smith St, Fitzroy
 Sun 21 April | 7:30pm
 60 minutes
 $30 Full | $25 Conc
 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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