Theatre review: Death Drop at The Lowry, Salford

Willam as Shazza in Death Drop

Willam, as Shazza, a Britney-like character, already past-it in the eyes of the public - Credit: Death Drop

Well, where does one start? Death Drop offers a night of laugh-out-loud one-liners, characters you won’t forget in a hurry, and high heels your chiropractor would burn on a public bonfire. 

First, to summarise: Death Drop is a play taking a typical Agatha Christie-style murder mystery and amping the hilarity to the max, as five fabulous drag queens, and two awesome drag kings, find themselves marooned on Tuck Island in an epic storm, with no way out and a murderer on the loose. 

Vinegar Strokes, in the role of Lady von Fistenburg

Vinegar Strokes, in the role of Lady von Fistenburg, in Death Drop - Credit: Death Drop

The play opens with Lady von Fistenburg, played by the glorious Vinegar Strokes. Her accent may be dodgy, but her attitude is most certainly not. The Lady is hosting a 10th wedding anniversary party for Charles and Diana, though they aren’t actually attending, a source of much confusion. She is supported in this by triplet sisters Brie, Blue and Spread (a naming convention that becomes clear, later in the show. You will laugh...) 

Holly Stars, as the Bottomley sisters, in Death Drop

The marvellous Holly Stars, who takes us back to the early 90s, and all that was wonderful and wicked. Crispy pancake, anyone? - Credit: Death Drop

The triplets are played by Holly Stars, who also wrote the play (and quite possibly handed herself the best role) and she’s brilliant; her comic timing is flawless and her restraint in the role is in the best tradition of greats such as Victoria Wood and Julie Walters.  

As the guests arrive, the hilarity mounts. It’s not quite a farce, but close to. We meet vicious newspaper editor Morgan Pierce, played by Karen from Finance, fresh from the Australian version of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. This is her first stage role (with an actual script) and she nails it.  She is soon joined by Summer Raines (Ra’Jah O’Hara) who wears the highest of heels with incredible panache, and Shazza (Willam) a Britney Spears-alike who steals the show, then generously hands it back again to her co-stars. 

Karen from Finance takes the role of Morgan Pierce, in Death Drop

Karen from Finance takes the role of Morgan Pierce, in Death Drop - Credit: Morgan Pierce

Word must be given to the marvellous Georgia Frost, who takes the role of sexist TV producer Phil Maker and makes it a man so many will recognise from the herds of men strutting and boasting the way through the 90s media and advertising industries; completely horrible, yet endlessly laughable. She is joined by Richard Energy, who plays Rich Whiteman, a misogynistic Tory MP (how did Holly come up with her characters?!) and who allows for more commentary on upper class twits in power than an entire evening at the Comedy Store.  

There are too many laugh out loud moments to recount; suffice to say the humour is witty, crude, clever, and visual as often as verbal. 

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I believe the show would benefit from a few cuts. It could be at least a half hour shorter and lose none of its power. Some jokes are laboured beyond funny, and some parts simply don’t help the story along. 

Would I go again? No. Would I say it was worth the trip to Salford to see it? Yes. We laughed, a lot, and that’s always a good thing. 

https://tickets.thelowry.com/en-GB/shows/death%20drop/events