Death Drop: Back in the Habit is the latest in what is fast becoming a drag-theatre franchise. In a previous incarnation, a murder mystery, this iteration is inspired by the slasher genre.
Billed as “The Sound of Music meets Scary Movie”. “A gaggle of fierce nuns are confined to their convent, but their peace and tranquillity is shattered by a serial slayer, slashing their way through the Sisters.” Thrown into the mix there’s a visitor from the Vatican, sent to find a missing priest. It’s up to Mother Superior and the eclectic sisters of St. Babs to save their convent and some souls.
The plot is more holey rather than holy but no-one is expecting high art here. It is filthy-minded, potty-mouthed, not for the easily offended, but full of fun. Writer Rob Evans would hands down win the prize for the most innuendo packed into a two hour show. However, despite a relatively short running time, it does suffer from constant repetition of the same tropes: frequent pregnant pauses and a funny but oft-repeated running gag. It also doesn’t know when to end, and fizzles to a finish rather than going out with the expected big bang.
Peter McKintosh’s set is relatively simplistic but it is actually hugely atmospheric and it is lit to perfection by Rory Beaton. Judicious use of dry ice and some ropey looking props all add to the madness.
The familiar faces in the cast are a hugely talented bunch: cis-gender drag queen Victoria Scone as Mother Superior, the much-loved Cheryl Hole as Sister Mary Berry, Kitty Scott-Claus is Sis Titis, drag king LoUis CYfer is Father Alfie Romeo and drag superstar Jujubee as Sister Maria JulieAndrews. However, with all this talent in the room, there’s a niggling feeling that the material isn’t serving them best. They give it their all, but there’s drag royalty on this stage, a better script, a better storyline and they could have given sooo much more. Drag Queens and the slasher genre is a match made in heaven.
Stand out is Victoria Scone whose theatrical training shines through, they are absolutely magnetic and pitch perfect throughout. Impressive too is Jujubee, already known for a killer sense of humour, they pull off the physical comedy with aplomb (complete with a respectable English accent). Fan favourite Cheryl Hole is grossly underused, but shines when given the opportunity.
If it’s a raucous, rollicking night out with your pals you are looking for, then Death Drop: Back in the Habit is the show for you. If you’re easily offended – then maybe not.
Continues touring | Image: Matt Crockett
Originally written for the Reviews Hub