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Katya Zamolodchikova: Help Me, I'm Dying, The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham - review

By Rebecca Stanley | Birmingham | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Her name is Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova - but your dad can call her Katya.

Katya Zamolodchikova

And last night the RuPaul's Drag Race season seven and All Stars Two fan favourite dazzled crowds at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham with her new solo show, Help Me, I'm Dying.

After a lengthy introduction featuring video messages from fellow Drag Race stars Bianca Del Rio and Alaska, the 36-year-old drag star strutted onto the stage in a loud black and red tasselled dress and glittering heels.

She set the weird and wonderful tone of the evening immediately with a lip-sync performance of hit songs from Lana Del Rey, MIA, Ariana Grande and Whitney Houston dubbed in Russian.

The routine - that saw the queen strip down into a cheerleader outfit and eventually black lingerie - was accompanied by a series of hilarious images from dating profiles and of happy families, all with Katya's face super-imposed into the frame.

Katya, the 'Russian bisexual hooker' character created by Boston performer Brian McCook, followed this bizarre and brilliant lip-sync routine with a hysterical stand-up comedy skit that had the entire crowd begging for more.

"We're about to take a trip through the mind of an old, 36-year-old, gay, drug addict mind," the blonde bombshell informed the audience.

"It's not going to make much sense at all."

And she certainly wasn't wrong. A short horror film featuring Katya's fellow Drag Race and UNHhhh co-star Trixie Mattel followed another titillating lip-sync performance to Peggy Lee's Is That All There Is?, introducing the second segment of the show.

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Following a quick costume change, Katya transformed into Trish Thompson - a '40-something' woman looking to get pregnant with a member of the audience.

She wasted no time getting in among the crowd, picking an unsuspecting soul to join her on stage in an uproarious, boisterous segment that was too racy to review.

Another peculiar video that saw Katya perform a 'shame walk' from Game of Thrones before teleporting to a Twin Peaks-inspired therapy session with Jinkx Monsoon introduced the closing part of the show, with the star returning to the stage in a highly-embellished black dress with thigh-high boots.

Katya possesses an effortless charisma that endears everyone she comes into contact with. Even the most simple flick of her heels or eccentric noise had the Brummie crowd laughing hysterically and cheering loudly - wanting to enjoy as much of her offbeat and unconventional personality as possible.

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Her sense of humour is abnormal to say the least, but she executed every gag flawlessly in a show that was truly unique.

Closing the show by jumping into the splits and dragging herself off stage in a manner that wouldn't have been out of place in The Exorcist - Katya left the whole room speechless.

The show was a non-linear, nonsensical romp through the off-kilter world of Katya, told through stand-up comedy, music, video, and audience interaction - and I loved every single second of it.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_star

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.stanley@expressandstar.co.uk

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