Drag Mania 2022 – Event Review

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As soon as we stepped foot into the Tramshed, we were greeted on stage than none other than Gothy Kendoll (from drag race UK season one) who actually DJed at the first ever drag show we attended almost a year ago which was headlined by the unique pairing of Denali and Utica from drag race season thirteen! If you are interested you can read my thoughts on this event at https://rhysreviews.com/2021/09/22/denali-and-utica-tour-review/) Gothy helped to get the crowd hyped up and excited for the show by playing some very popular pop songs that the crowd did in fact go wild for! I think it is fantastic that Gothy has found a niche within the drag world that she not only excels at but is also confident in doing! The entire event was hosted by the incredible Mutha Tucka who has actually compared many of the drag shows we have seen such as Divina De Campo’s tour (which you can read about at https://rhysreviews.com/2022/07/22/red-wig-and-a-silver-dress-experience-review/) and the Halloween villains ball (which we will talk more about later!) As expected Mutha brought a familiar brand of comedy but also found the time to spread some very important political messages that worked perfectly with the end of the pride Cymru season. Despite having seen Mutha host many times before we have not been lucky enough to see her perform … until now! She did a hilarious performance of “Losing My Mind” by Liza Minnelli which was entirely dedicated to the British bakery chain Greggs! From her last gig, I was aware of her love of Greggs but this song absolutely cemented her passion for baked goods with a montage of products, Twitter interactions and merchandise being shown during the performance! This unique number also included a moment where she threw sausage roles into the audience which drove the entire audience into a wild frenzy! Mutha also helped to facilitate three audience members joining everyone on stage to deliver lip-sync performance of the iconic UK Hun alongside the fashion queen Awhora! To decided the overall winner, the three participants did a three-way lip-sync to the Ru Paul classic “Sissy that Walk” where they showed adorable unity that led to all three winning a fan that had been signed by the entire cast of the show!

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Back in October, we attended the Disney Villains ball at Tramshed (which you can read about at https://rhysreviews.com/2021/11/02/disney-villians-ball-event-review/) which included Mutha Tucka and the fashion queen of drag race season two Awhora! During her time on the show, Awhora was known for her catty attitude and incredible fashion but very little time was given to highlighting her insane performance abilities! As I had attended the Halloween event, I know how much a performance she likes to put on and this time was no exception! She looked absolutely incredible in this performance Where managed to squeeze in both a skirt and wig reveal which made the crowd go absolutely crazy! Another queen who loves to put on a PERFORMANCE is none other than the dancing diva of Dallas and drag race icon Alyssa Edwards who also appeared at this year’s drag mania! Many would argue that Alyssa is one of the most famous queens to come out of drag race and so the crowd were already extremely excited from the mere mention of her name. She started her act at the terrace of the venue where she gracefully strutted and posed around the entire venue which ended with what can only be described as a dance spectacle on stage! As expected from this queen, her dancing was amazing to witness but arguable where witty anecdotes and extended stories were equally just as entertaining! It is clear that Alyssa really enjoys interacting with the audience and the frustration it caused Mutha Tucka (due to time restraints etc) was unfortunately very funny to witness! My only gripe with her act was the fact that the graphic behind her had a grammar mistake with the “E” of her last name not being capitalised (I know it must be the English teacher in me but I did find this somewhat distracting!)

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I have to admit that during her time on season thirteen I was not the biggest fan of Kandy Muse! At the time I thought that some of her costume were a bit questionable (do not get us started on the infamous pocket or alien look) and she was edited in such a way that made her seem very confrontational which is not a quality I tend to support. I do think that I was sucked into the image and storyline that was produced during her time on the show but I must say that she absolutely knows how to turn the party! During her drag mania performance, Kandy looked absolutely insane in an incredible black and white outfit which complemented and showcased her body perfectly! This was one of our favourite looks we have ever seen from this queen and so I feel very lucky that I was able to experience this after the misguided judgements that were made during her time on drag race! Kandy delivered a wonderfully sensual and sexy performance which, as a bigger person myself, I found very empowering! It seems that society wants to promote this idea that bigger people cannot be sexy but if Kandy’s performance is anything to go by then this is absolutely categorically wrong! My favourite act of the night however would have to be Aja (who also received a questionable edit on drag race during both her appearances on the show) as she delivered a wonderfully high-energy and intense musical saga! She used her time on the stage to promote her own original music which contained an extremely heavy rap influence that really energised the audience and had everyone dancing throughout! Without knowing the words or being familiar with any of the songs within her set, I found myself being sucked into the hype which is not an easy thing to create within lesser-known songs! Not only did Aja showcase her impeccable rap lyrics but also found moments to show how much of a talented dancer she is! Most fans of drag race are aware of her performance during the all-stars season three talent show, but the voguing abilities she showcased live were even more impressive! She managed to include incredible dips, iconic duck walks, and insane hand choreography and owned every inch of the stage which is impressive in its own regard but to quickly pick up the mic and continue rapping is mind-blowing!

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Overall this was the perfect way to bring an end to pride weekend with some of the most well-known faces in the international drag community. I would say that it would have been nice to have a greater inclusion of more local queens as many of the performers mentioned the importance of supporting local drag! My other qualm with this event was the fact that due to the flat flooring of the audience, I was not able to see some sections of routines which is sad because floor work (eg splits, dips etc) has become somewhat of a drag staple that I missed throughout the show! The choice to perform Lady Marmalade was the perfect way to end the show as each queen was able to have the limelight for one final performance and were able to showcase some degree of choreography that brought the performers, stage crew and tour staff together which is something that is I have not seen done but yet is very important! I would rate this event 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend that fans of drag race keep an eye out for the next event as it is an opportunity to meet (for an extra fee) and/or witness some of the most well-known queens doing what they do best!

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