By Lucinda Naughton
Sydney Drag Queen Presents Les Divas: An All-Male Revue offers an escape from the mundane every day, taking you into the glamourous, fashionable, and beautiful journey through the divas that have transformed music history. The ninety-minute show is headlined by the brilliant Prada Clutch, one of Australia’s most in demand live-singing drag queens, and she certainly delivers in her incredible physical and verbal, and, most impressively, vocal impersonations of Cher, Barbara Streisand, and Shirley Bassey.
Prada Clutch’s live vocals and witty sketches are highlights (if the audience wasn’t loud enough, we heard about it). Her girls, Conchita Grande and Charlamaine, physically impersonate some of the greatest divas, including Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Diana Ross. Beautifully creatively directed by Monique Kelly, Les Divas encourages the audience to sing along to many of the greatest hits, including I’m Coming Out (which is still stuck in my head), Crazy in Love, Proud Mary, and I Wanna Dance with Somebody. The fast song changes are very engaging and keep the audience on their toes.
The costumes, hair and makeup are all out of this world, every new diva entrance makes the audience both squeal in awe and laugh at the theatrics – Prada Clutch’s first entrance as Cher felt electric; while Charlamaine’s Diana Ross impression brought new levels of sass to the stage.
It was great to see the three beautiful queens accompanied by four impressive dancers, Jay Tickle, Logan Dustan, Cristian Liberti, and Chris Combes, as they bring a great deal of sensuality to the show, oozing sex and energy (and whatever the divas demand of them), which is really refreshing to see.
Although the sound could have been increased, particularly in the first act, the energy was certainly amplified in the second act; I feel this was greatly due to the change in performance style of the pop divas. Stephen Clarke’s choreography shines particularly here as the divas join in with the dancers; Conchita Grande’s energetic physicality of her Beyoncé impersonation is absolutely hilarious and had the audience in stitches.
The set was minimal, the lighting and the queens bringing more than enough glamour to focus on. The use of a projector added an extra visual element, particularly in Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On where it displayed the clichéd moving ocean, causing the audience to laugh and yet still be moved by Prada Clutch’s incredible vocals. The disco ball creates a sense of inclusivity for the audience, so we feel comfortable singing along to the songs (particularly when Conchita Grande hilariously enters the stage from the audience as Beyoncé), but not on display.
Overall, I think the show created the perfect balance between celebrating the divas and hilariously exaggerating their styles. If you want a laugh and a journey through the greatest divas and their classic songs, then check out where Les Divas is touring near you!
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.