Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Queenz The Show With Balls is now on a UK tour. On Friday, I went down to the Clapham Grand to check it out.

Five drag queens; Dior Monte (Jaymi Hensley), Bella Du Ball (Ben Sell), Billie Eyelash (Luke Hall), Zeze Van Cartier (Lew Ray) and Candy Caned (Josh Hanson), take to the stage and stun with pop anthems, musical theatre showstoppers and iconic diva tracks.

What I love most about this show is that the vocal performances are all sung live. Some drag shows use lip sync performances but Queenz is not one of them. Each queen displays incredible vocals throughout, and that’s what makes this show stand out in the growing crowd of drag shows.

At the end of Act One there is a musical mega mix, in which the queens perform songs from 20 shows in just 7 minutes, changing up the lyrics to make them fit the show’s narrative of gender-bending gay pride. This was the highlight of the show for me, it was a delightfully camp, wonderfully fun performance.

At times the lighting was facing the audience and was far too bright, it was slightly reminiscent of the club lights being turned on at the end of the night. Some of the lights also blinded you momentarily as they panned around the audience. I found that the sound was much too loud on occasion, which slightly diluted the voices on stage – and made me worry for their vocal cords! Both of these very minor flaws can easily be remedied.

Queenz is unlike other drag shows I’ve seen this year, which were more akin to variety performances with a repertoire of talents and tricks. This show is vocal performances punctuated with some audience interaction and humorous dialogue in between, and it works splendidly.

The costumes in Act One featured lots of leotards – and we all know what Michelle Visage would say about this! However the costumes in Act Two were simply stunning. Just before the finale, the Queenz delivered a speech about acceptance and Candy Caned choked up whilst doing so. Which made this and the subsequent performance of ‘True Colours’ emotionally charged and even more powerful.

With outstanding powerhouse vocals, a beautiful message of living your truth and acceptance, Queenz is a joyful celebration, and hands down the best drag show I’ve seen this year. This show is so much fun, and I was blown away by the talent of these five queens, particularly Hensley and Hall, who delivered jaw-dropping vocals. Queenz The Show With Balls is a brilliantly fun night out, so grab your fellow Queenz and go and see the Queenz, on one of the tour stops near you! You’re guaranteed a royally fun time!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

2 Star Review 3 Star Review 4 Star Review 5 Star Review 2022 2023 Adaptation Almeida Cabaret Camden Fringe Cast Announcement Christmas Comedy Dance Drag Edinburgh Fringe Edinburgh Fringe Interviews Fringe Immersive Interviews Jukebox Musical LGBTQIA+ Lyric Hammersmith Manchester Musical New Musical News New Wimbledon Theatre North West Off West End Park Theatre Play Review Revival Richmond Theatre Round Up Royal Court Theatre Shakespeare Show Announcement Show Recommendations Soho Theatre Southwark Playhouse Touring Production VAULT Festival West End

    Spine-tingling yet heart-warming, Mark Gatiss’s retelling of A Christmas Carol truly encapsulates the haunting atmosphere of a Victorian ghost story, balanced out with enough humour so as to capture the festive season. Led by Keith Allen as Scrooge, with Peter Forbes as Marley, this show is perfect for Christmas viewing. The set design by Paul Wills is instantly captivating, containing stacks of metal cabinets towering over the theatre, moveable by the cast to allow space for other central props like doors, beds and tables. In addition to this, the puppetry design by Matthew Forbes is incredibly clever, adding creepy elements to the show such … More A CHRISTMAS CAROL – REVIEW – ALEXANDRA PALACE
    The title of this winner of Theatre 503’s 2023 International Playwriting Award by Roxy Cook may seem like the set-up to a joke, but the narrative that unspools is instead an affectionate, gently barbed and at base quite sobering portrait of three ordinary souls (and one restless feline) adrift in modern Moscow. There is much affable, satirical back-and-forth commentary on the accepted myths & stereotypes of the Russian spirit & soul. Beset by the indignities of age, opportunism, graft, fatigue, the characters orbit one another, doomed to play out their roles in an unjust, predatory and saturnine universe. The play opens … More A WOMAN WALKS INTO A BANK – REVIEW – THEATRE503
    Peter Pan Goes Wrong first premiered in London at the Pleasance Theatre in 2013, and earlier this year the show made its Broadway debut. Now the production is back in the West End for the Christmas season. Following on from The Play That Goes Wrong, in this production, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is staged by the fictitious Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society and goes awry, disastrously so. The meta-comedy is filled with slapstick comedy, sometimes the humour may be predictable and silly, but it’s universally funny throughout – there is something for everyone here, and the laughs come thick and fast … More PETER PAN GOES WRONG – REVIEW – LYRIC THEATRE
    Drawing heavily from the classic canon of the British supernatural, High Tide’s trio of contemporary Gothic narratives uses traditional storytelling formats to address contemporary themes. Directed by Elayce Ismail, reverent musical interludes accompany tales of apparitions and nighttime conjurings that speak of women from the East of England. Unfortunately, the effect is less chilling and more lightweight, with conventional structures, predictable plot twists and an over-reliance on external forces to drive narrative shoring up some of the less relatable aspects of the genre. Nicola Werenowska’s The Beach House, perhaps the cleanest of the three tales, tells of a mother and … More GHOST STORIES BY CANDLELIGHT – REVIEW – SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE
    Drum roll please…(Cue a literal drum rolling across the stage.) The Lyric pantomime is one of traditions with the return of many well-loved jokes and skits. Costumes and sets are all made at the Lyric itself by Good Teeth, with set pieces being reused year on year. This year Cinderella gets the Hammersmith makeover, with some success. The costuming is fun and vibrant, with the ugly stepsisters’ equine pyjamas and hoop-skirted ball gowns giving all the wrong kinds of extra you need for those characters. Cinderella’s on stage dress transformation is magical and really well-timed. The Dame, Lady Jelly-Bottom’s, outfits … More CINDERELLA – REVIEW – LYRIC HAMMERSMITH

Leave a Reply