If Only Diana Were Queer

Three drag queens in a dressing room talk us through their life stories, from coming out to discovering drag. There's sass, contouring and dirty puns all round. They're getting ready for that evening's show in Manchester's buzzing gay district.

The piece highlights the struggle of acceptance within society faced by the gay community, which is a passionate and serious plea.

The show relies heavily on gay stereotypes and clichés, and there is nothing new presented here. The characters' patter and put-downs are fun but predictable, as are their histories. The structure of the piece is also fairly simple: after brief interludes of dressing room chitchat, each of the three characters delivers their stories one after another. These monologues are embellished with cameos from the ensemble, who play a wide range of characters in the drag queens' pasts, with varying degrees of success, although Ruaidhri Johnston's comic timing is reliably pitch perfect.

Chris Owen as Miss Alexa Hung relishes the spotlight so much, I could happily imagine him in his own drag act. This zest is enjoyable to watch, although he has a tendency to drop pace. Jake Hodgkinson is very entertaining as Riley Cyrus and benefits from the basic structure of the piece by telling his story first.

The show is set in "the queerest bar on the block", Coming Up Roses, which is a haven for those who've felt like an outsider and want to be part of a greater, inclusive family. Each of the characters identifies strongly that, "drag is part of who I am". It's this feeling of acceptance which motivates the piece, and that's a message we can all empathise with.

The piece highlights the struggle of acceptance within society faced by the gay community, which is a passionate and serious plea. However, while the characters discuss the flamboyancy of drag, there is little of it in the show. Perhaps some more of that is needed to balance out the monotony of the piece. 

Reviews by Cara Ballingall

C venues - C nova

Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity

★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Free for All

★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

If Only Diana Were Queer

★★
C venues - C nova

Two Thirds

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Much Further Out Than You Thought

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

They sing, they dance and they steal your boyfriends. In the dressing room of Coming Up Roses, three drag queens are preparing their act. So tuck your excitement between your legs as Rhonda, Alexa and Riley lift the lid on the world of drag and lead you through their fabulous life of fake boobs, suspenders and fierce attitude!