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Review: Dragtime! Presents: Gunpowder, Treason, and Thot

An absolute smoke show


Hear ye, hear ye! For your viewing pleasure, Dragtime! are once again set to delight the ADC stage this week with a song, a dance, and a whole lot of skin. This time toying with a Guy Fawkes theme, Cambridge’s premiere drag troupe has organised a talent-filled showcase which is sure not to disappoint.

A tantalising mix of physical comedy, witty banter, and stunning musical performances, Gunpowder, Treason, and Thot not only dealt out an endless series of well-timed jokes, but also handled more serious themes including homophobia and transphobia with an equal amount of grace.

Host Magic Dyke set the comedic tone of the show (Image credit: @never_laughs_photo)

Building on the hard work of the performers and production crew, the show’s atmosphere was really brought together by the participation of the game (if slightly inebriated) audience. From the outset, hosts Charlene Collins and Magic Dyke were excellent at riling up the audience, bantering with each other as well as audience members to build the excitement and anticipation for the next act. The excellent dynamic between the two hosts – clearly fostered through working together for a long period – gave the show a clear sense of cohesion, tying the performances together and keeping the show on theme. From smoke-stained shirts to the plague masks donned by the performers, the theme of the show ran throughout all the performances but nevertheless did not limit the diversity and creativity of the showcase.

The fiery theme of the show was evident throughout (Image credit: @never_laughs_photo)

Ranging from Charlene Collins’s emotional ballad detailing experiences of homophobia and transphobia to Prince Charles‘s fiery prop-filled display, the show did not falter for a second, hitting the nail on the head and exploring a new facet of the theme with every performance. An interesting addition to the variety of the show was Alchemy Volvelle‘s heavy incorporation of comedy into their routine, which struck an amusing balance between stand-up act and Ru Paul protégée.

Whilst the show certainly was rife with appearances from seasoned performers such as Magic Dyke (who ended the show with a fabulous pole performance), the production team also made sure to leave room for the ADC debut of new performers such as Sexy Lady and Juno Watt, who will no doubt become showstoppers in future showcases. What remained consistent throughout all the performances was the mischievous sense of humour and easy improvisation skills shared by all the performers, who bounced off each other well but also shone brightly in their own solo performances.

Trying to decide whose performance was best (Image credit: @never_laughs_photo)

The biggest takeaway from this show is the clear sense of community between the production team and performers, all of whom are dedicated to creating a high-quality showcase which they can be proud of and the audience can thoroughly enjoy.

So, if you need a break from the intensity of term, time certainly won’t drag whilst watching this term’s excellent showcase of the best drag Cambridge has to offer. The only difficult part will be deciding who your favourite performer is.

4.5/5

Dragtime! Presents: Gunpowder, Treason, and Thot is showing from 8th – 11th November at the ADC Theatre starting at 11pm. Book your tickets here.