Klub Kids Queens of Comedy Extravaganza, O2 Academy, Birmingham - review with pictures
Crowds wound round the streets of Birmingham last night as Klub Kids brought their eagerly-anticipated Queens of Comedy Extravaganza tour to Birmingham's O2 Academy.
Hour long queues awaited eager fans trying to get up-close to some of their favourite RuPaul's Drag Race stars and drag legends.
Once finally in the venue, any bad feeling towards the lengthy wait immediately dissipated as a true family atmosphere greeted all revellers with open arms.
When I entered the warm walls of the O2 Academy, I was immediately greeted by Klub Kid star performer Mutha Tucka, selling raffle tickets to win meet and greet opportunities with the proceeds going towards charities for anxiety and depression - a nice, heart-warming touch to the evening.
The lights dimmed over the packed-out room and Klub Kids promoter Andrew took to the stage to further rile the already ecstatic crowd, and promote their other upcoming shows in the process - a very clever move.
The line-up was a variety of queens old and new with an array of different talents, but with one important thing in common - they were all absolutely hilarious.
Compere for the evening was renowned hate comedian Bianca Del Rio, who made no delay in reading any crowd member who met her gaze.
"Is this Birming-um? Because in America we call this place Birming-HAM, anyway, are you guys ready for the show? If so, do something I used to do when I was younger, put your phone away!" She yelled to a roaring crowd, with a lot more expletives.
Bianca had the crowd in the palm of her hands every moment she graced the stage, enjoying screams from the crowd with every glittering costume change and cutting joke.
First up on the jam-packed line-up was California drag alum Jackie Beat, who has been gracing stages across the world for more than 30 years.
Despite not being a RuGirl, which many fans here had solely come to see, Jackie Beat captivated the crowd from start to finish with her infectious energy that could challenge any young queen.
She delighted the audience with x-rated renditions of Baby Got Back, now entitled Baby Got Front, and Dreamgirls classic And I Am Telling You.
"I'm going to rap for you now, which I know is the first thing you think of when you look at me," Jackie laughed, pointing to her sky-high brown wig and glittering yellow gown, before spitting verses at the speed of light.
Without further ado, the only comedian to arguably cause more offence than Bianca Del Rio took to the stage - Charlie Hides.
Hides regularly received shocked gasps from the crowd with her lewd, crude and more than near-the-knuckle routine. She spoke regularly about the offence she caused, bravely shouting "I don't care if you think I'm a b****, as long as you think I'm thin", which she turned into an energetic number at the end of her set.
The Massachusetts star who appeared on season nine of RuPaul's Drag Race has been living in London for 20 years, and regaled the audience with tales of the confusing culture.
"Do you know how I realised I was British, Birmingham? Because a woman elbowed me when she came out of Topshop and I apologised." she laughed before waving the crowd goodbye.
Bianca swayed onto the stage in a glittering black ball gown, and introduced her favourite queen of them all, RuPaul's best friend Lady Bunny.
"Now this queen, she's been around for centuries, she goes way back to when RuPaul had hair," Bianca shouted as the whole crowd erupted, knowing who was about to take to the stage.
Lady Bunny is a certified drag legend, and her set last night proved exactly why as she took to the stage with the speed and energy of a shooting star, being every bit as depraved and vulgar as her social media posts promise.
Bunny successfully ruined every single popular song I ever liked in just 20 minutes - I will now never be able to listed to Katy Perry or Justin Bieber without thinking of her utterly disgusting and further than x-rated renditions of the lyrics... In a good way. Every time I hear these songs I will always be reminded of the intelligence put into the newly-smutty singles, and the pure talent it took to perform them.
"I'll tell you this Birmingham, you've been the best crowd of the tour!" Bunny screamed in between her high kicks and spins.
Twirling across the stage, waving her arms and brandishing sex toys before plunging into a song that insulted every single Drag Race contestant to a Madonna soundtrack, Bunny had the whole audience rolling around the floor laughing.
For a break between the acts, Manchester/London dance troupe House Of Decay wowed the crowds with their breathtaking club-inspired costumes, and their fierce and ferocious dance routines.
"Now this queen, she was the RIGHTFUL winner of All Stars 2, and she's one of my absolute favourites." Bianca shouted, welcoming the fourth act to the stage.
From crude humour to the utterly bizarre, Drag Race season seven and All Stars 2 contestant Katya ran onto the stage in a garish floral shirt advertising her web series UNHhhh, and an equally garish patterned skirt.
Her bold and eye-catching outfit visually encapsulated the LA star who immediately endeared the audience with her charming demeanour.
"How are you Birmingham? My name is Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchiva, but you can call me Katya!" she brightly smiled as the audience screamed uncontrollably.
The comedy queen treated the audience to a montage of everything the crowd has come to love her for. She started her set with a snippet of her weird and wonderful stand up, including a spoken word rendition of fellow Drag Race star Roxxxy Andrews' verse in RuPaul song Read U Wrote U.
She then dove into a high-octane musical number combining her own verse in Read U Wrote You and Drag Race contestant Tatianna's Same Parts. Katya slinked across the stage in a bewitching fashion, jumping into the splits and contorting herself in an almost impossible fashion to the audience's disbelief.
If that wasn't enough of a treat already, the star performed the perfect costume reveal as she whipped her garish number off to reveal a full body suit emblazoned with the posted for sci-fi movie Contact - a regular topic on UNHhhh, much to the annoyance of fellow co-star Trixie Mattel.
Leaving the audience breathless just from watching her athletic prowess Katya quickly hugged Bianca and left the stage, leaving the audience ready for their final hit of comedy.
Drag Race season five and fellow All Stars 2 contestant Alyssa Edwards was one of the first pageant queens to prove that she can also be a comedy queen, and she solidified that message in Birmingham with a whirlwind cabaret of song, dance, humour and pageantry.
She couldn't wait to steal the show as she invaded the stage during Bianca's introduction - and was one of the only queens daring enough to answer Bianca's reads with equally cutting comebacks.
Every audience member had all eyes on Alyssa every time she put one-heeled foot onto the stage - and not just because she was waving over a spotlight at every opportunity.
Alyssa danced across the stage with effortlessly beautiful precision, she delivered jokes with perfect timing and she blended her pageant background with a question and answer session hosted by Bianca Del Rio. Alyssa is an all-round performer, and she has mastered everything she has put her hand to.
With sides aching and tears of laughter still streaming, every act took to the stage for one final bow with the crowd still bellowing with delight.
Klub Kids have successfully put together a tour that induces laughter from start to finish, with a varied and polished bill that entertains throughout.
Every act was on absolute top form, and treated the crowd in Birmingham to an unforgettable night of comedy and drag.
I, for one, cannot wait to see what Klub Kids bring to Birmingham next.
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