Queenz: The Show with Balls, Birmingham Town Hall. 7 November 2022. 5***** David Gray & Paul Gray

Queenz is a larger than life show full of outsized performances from what surely must be some of the UK’s foremost Drag Queens. Miss Dia Montay was, alas, indisposed but the remaining four Queenz – Belle DuBall, Candy Caned, Billy Eyelash & ZeZe Van Cartier more than filled the space in her absence.

This is a group of performers each with their own individual powerful personas and inimitable vocal styles. But the strength of the show lies in the great chemistry between them and the rather generous way that, despite some playful bitchiness, they all work so well as an ensemble; these are incredibly gifted musicians.

The show flows like liquid gold from one brilliantly produced vocal number to the next. The script is clearly polished, yet feels spontaneous, and the choreography is tightly synchronised. The musical backing tracks are largely excellent, and Queenz are all fabulous solo performers but, perhaps more surprisingly, terrific ensemble singers. The vocal blend is quite gorgeous and the harmonies flawless. This is their first ever tour, and given its evident success, they might now like to start thinking about bringing in a live band; they’re really worth it.

Equally impressive is how well put together the whole thing is. This is not just a randomly thrown together collection of Camp Classics. The structure is really well thought-out. The first half tantalises with a series of slick medleys, but doesn’t deliver any knockout punches – yet. This leaves a pre-interval audience more than satisfied and ready for something bigger in the second half.

And the second half does not disappoint; opening with a sequence of more sustained burlesque-themed numbers, laden with sass and playful sexiness, followed by a sequence of big solo-focused showstoppers. These give each of the Queenz a chance to shine at what she does best. And this, in turn, flows into a breathless Latin-based finale which brings the packed audience to its dancing feet. The energy builds with an intelligent feel for “show-queenship” to a carefully articulated crescendo. Very clever.

From the start of the show the Queenz promise no lip-synching whatsoever, and they hold to this. And why should they not; this is a group of performers with truly outstanding voices, both as individual solo singers and as an ensemble? Truly, a stunning, feel-good night out. Long may the Queenz reign.

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