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10s Across The Board, O2 Institute, Birmingham - review

By Rebecca Stanley | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

It was 10s, 10s, 10s across the board last night when stars of RuPaul's Drag Race took to the stage in Birmingham.

10s Across the Board

Season 10 queens Yuhua Hamasaki, Miz Cracker, Asia O'Hara, Kameron Michaels and Aquaria performed at Digbeth's O2 Institute as part of Holy Trannity's 10s Across the Board tour.

After introducing the Drag Race stars, enigmatic Manchester hosts Danny Beard and Victoria Secret greeted the crowd warmly. They controlled the show, and the crowd, effortlessly with their quick wit and scathing comments that had everyone laughing throughout the show.

First up to warm the crowd however, were Birmingham drag collective Opulence. Made up of Yshee Black, Jenna Davinci, Nora Virus and Jay Andre; the group performed a high-energy comedic skit that championed precise choreography, tight lip-synching, and perfect comedic timing.

Following Opulence was fellow Birmingham queen Ginny Lemon, showcasing her stellar singing voice with a variety of covers, and her own unique version of Liberty X hit Just A Little.

Though many members of the audience were here because they love Drag Race, these Birmingham queens showed just why the local drag scene is a hive of exciting talent.

Next up was a very special guest invited by Holy Trannity to perform her first show. 14 year old Lewis Bailey, otherwise known as Athena Heart, hit headlines recently when he was told he could not perform his drag act during a talent show at Castle High School in Dudley because it was deemed 'inappropriate'.

This incident didn't get her down, and last night Athena high-kicked, dipped and danced along to RuPaul's iconic song Sissy That Walk to the ear-splitting cheers of the audience.

Despite only being her first performance, the young queen showcased precise lip-synch abilities and controlled dance moves that are commonly shown by queens many years her senior; a spectacle that will certainly make her one to watch in the future.

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As the venue's lights dimmed and cheers echoed across the room, the stars of RuPaul's Drag Race season 10 took to the stage to greet their adoring fans.

From start to finish the show was a flurry of high-energy performances that frequently received shocked gasps and elated cheers from the crowd.

Asia O'Hara, Kameron Michaels, and season 10 winner Aquaria opened the show with a boxing-themed number, in which the queens were perfectly in synch throughout. Not one dance move was out of time and every lyric was performed flawlessly, setting the tone for the entire show.

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Yuhua Hamasaki upped the ante further with a passionate performance to Calvin Harris' Sweet Nothing, before comedy queen Miz Cracker delighted fans with a weird and wonderful lip-synch routing to Etta James' Something's Got a Hold On Me, as she serenaded two bread rolls.

Top four queen Asia was made infamous during her season following a performance in which she planned to release live butterflies, but instead littered the stage with dead ones. Needless to say, the internet was full of jokes surrounding the incident in a matter of hours, and now the queen has embraced the joke with a hilarious performance that saw her joined by two strapping male dancers in butterfly wings.

Self-proclaimed 'Body Builder Barbie' Kameron Michaels was portrayed as shy and introverted during her time on Drag Race. But last night the queen wasted no time jumping into the crowd, urging everyone to clap their hands and get involved with the show.

She performed a captivating and ethereal number to a mash-up of Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams, Nelly Furtado's Maneater, Rihanna's Disturbia and Marilyn Manson's The Beautiful People; packed full of jaw-dropping cartwheels.

Turning looks and stunting pretty, season 10 winner Aquaria showed why she was crowned America's Next Drag Superstar during her set last night. Every time she graced the stage she was captivating to watch; her costumes were opulent, her dance moves were astonishing, and her charisma was infectious as she laughed and joked with the crowd while thanking them for coming to the show.

Her performance during the second half of the show was a real highlight of the evening, which saw the star flipping, dipping and voguing along to the likes of Snap's Rhythm Is A Dancer, La Roux's Bulletproof and MIA's Live Fast Die Young.

Packed full of high-octane and precise performances, every queen involved in the 10s Across The Board Tour helped to create a truly unforgettable night with their immense talent and passion for the art of drag.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_star

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.stanley@expressandstar.co.uk

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