VARIETY SHOW REVIEW: A Christmas Gaiety at the Royal Albert Hall

A Christmas Gaiety: A one off ‘Queer Orchestral Extravaganza’.

Well, what AM I getting myself into. The mind boggles, all these drag queens bouncing off each other. I told my family and my son sent me an Insta link to one of them, Cheddar Gorgeous. The OUTFITS. Yes, I’m putting caps everywhere, because explosive is how it will be, and how I’m feeling about it. I invited my friend, and we were fizzing away about what the performers would play and wear and sing and banter about. Then we wondered what the audience would be like and realised we were going to be a big part of the show, as it’s ‘sing-along’. Talk turned to ‘What are WE going to wear?!’ Nikky is going with eye-catching gold elegance. I am going round in circles. We’ve got the coats sorted, because it’s going to be cold outside, and there is the matter of getting there and back.


But what to do about the dress? For this outlandish, sexy, stylish, one-in-a-lifetime moment. The dress you drool over in the privacy of your own bedroom but haven’t quite dared wear out yet. I have a couple… but my sheer sequin number got the job; a body-con mermaid-skin in brushed metallic blue, with high heels – I never wear heels. Growing old disgracefully and lovin’ it.


The day came and the Royal Albert Hall was full of youth! Gay, straight, sequined, casual, lovebirds, and mates festooned in fairy lights. It was a loud, buzzy, appreciative audience. 

The performance, you’re thinking, when’s she going to talk about the performance. 


Nobody on or off stage could quite believe what they were seeing. It was … Drag meets the Proms?  Six drag queens in total offered a variety show of dirty, flirty humour, song and dance, all backed by the BBC Concert Orchestra! A UK first.

madeleine face make up at ROYAL ALBERT HALL A CHRISTMAS GAIETY

The Christmas story began as  ‘Santa only COMES once a year, and that’s why he’s so LOADED’. Christmas songs were sung straight or with a gay or sexy twist, with the LBTQ+ choir making saucy substitutions to ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’. At one point Peaches Christ mosied up to interview the organist about her ‘organ’ and she worked the innuendo beautifully, playing a rip-roaring medley to top it off.

Uber-glam outfits dripping with festive sequins and glitter lit up the stage, contrasted with a hard-man dressed in tattoos, a cod piece and a few chains, a proud nod to all bondage lovers. 

Marisha Wallace rocked the finale, leading the audience with  ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ by Shakey Stevens who danced and whooped and hollered their approval not just for the artistes, but way more importantly, for this historic moment:  drag has gone mainstream. 

Tickets from here


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