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The Comedy of Errors

Live Comedy Review: Scream Queenz Comedy Chaos Royal Wedding Show

21 May 18 words: Caroline Barry

We sent Caroline Barry down to The Newmarket to check out a drag event...

I’ve been at some strange drag events over the years.

I once watched a drag artist, dressed as a lizard, staple a newspaper to her bum… and I clapped. So I consider myself a big drag fan who doesn’t have to be in the presence of a Drag Race girl to enjoy the art form. It annoys me when drag is defined by what happens on the tv show, as there are some amazing acts out there that are never seen by a wider audience. People expect glossy showgirls and fishy queens. I’m happy to be surrounded by any form of drag be it goth, gender neutral, showgirls or my personal favorite, comedy queens.

Still, I wasn’t sure what to expect when given the invite to a drag themed event based around the royal wedding. A drag fan I may be but the royal wedding, really? That was a rhinestone tiara too far for me. I had also never been to The Newmarket so this was going to be a totally new experience.

I’m glad I went. I got a lovely welcome from The Scream Queens of Comedy and The Newmarket who were hosting the event. The Scream Queens of Comedy are four queens, Selma, Marilyn, Claire-Leigh and Tess. They have been involved in Notts’ thriving drag scene for over a year. Much to my delight underground events like this one are constantly popping up. In the past year we have had a big growth in the amount of drag venues and shows, with Nottingham Contemporary, The Glee Club and Rough Trade all hosting alternative drag events. It’s been fantastic to watch what at times can feel like a very fragmented LGBTQIPAK+ scene come together to have a great time.

Back to the drag in question. The event was funny, engaging, and at times, interactive. I came home covered in biscuits after one queen showered us with crackers during a lively rendition of Feed The Birds from Mary Poppins. Good thing I’m not gluten free as I found more than my fair share down my top. In fact, these bird seeds weren’t the only food item of the night as cupcakes were hurled into the crowd before being shared by the audience.

While there are some issues to sort, such as timing, the queens more than make up for it. They have been doing this a long while and know how to make the audience laugh and participate which is more than I can say for some acts out there…cough… I mention no names. It was great to see the audience roaring along to some of the numbers. The girls made full use of the bar top as well by crawling and climbing on it.

This was my first visit to The Newmarket and it seemed a strange mix that oddly worked. There were straight women, older men, drag queens, gay girls, and all those in between. I’m used to gay spaces that very much cater to gay audiences so it was a welcome change to see a bar that embraced both clientele.

So why the royal wedding?

Well, it was the weekend of the event itself, to be fair. It’s hard to ignore the bunting, banners and Union Jacks on walls. It was certainly hard to miss the decorations in The Newmarket.

With more gigs to come throughout the year, The Scream Queens have made a new Facebook page where fans will be able to see their next events.

They say that you aren’t really a fan of drag until you know your local performers. I’m happy I got to know some of Notts’ queens and I have a feeling this won’t be my last gig.

Scream Queenz Comedy Chaos: The Royal Wedding took place on Saturday 19 May

Scream Queenz website

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