Publicity graphics: Tom Nuttall

Dragtime is back and it’s brighter, bolder and bustier than ever. Usually our favourite event of the year, Dragtime describes itself as “the friendliest ‘fuck you’ in the world”, and we’d certainly agree. The format of the show was, as always, strong individual performances within a slightly flimsy framework.

“The innuendo puns and dirty jokes provided a fun backdrop to some quality and surprising professional drag acts”

The show begins with a child crouched beneath the Christmas tree, eagerly awaiting Christmas morning unaware that it would be unlike anything they’d ever experienced before. Enter our host dressed as the naughty but not-so-nice Father XXXmas, poised and ready to guide us through the night’s equally naughty performances. Although the premise itself was somewhat lacking – it was essentially just vaguely Christmas themed – the innuendo puns and dirty jokes provided a fun backdrop to some quality and surprising professional drag acts – we know few people that could walk in some of those shoes, let alone dance. As the evening drew on it became less and less clear exactly what Father XXXmas was trying to show ‘Little Willy’, however by this point everyone was having such a good time that it didn’t really seem to matter.

We were especially wowed by the addition of some original lyrics and were impressed to discover they were largely written by the individual acts themselves. This is clearly a community that is invested well beyond the remits of the Dragtime show. We have to give a particular mention to Christian Aguilera (Ben Hetherington) whose comic timing was immaculate and whose lip syncing was the best we’ve ever seen.

All in all a fantastic evening of pure entertainment. Fabulous fakery and Christmas cheer make for a excellent mix, and we promise you that no one’s getting coal in their stocking this year, but you might find a dildo if you’re extra lucky

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