Excitement was palpable in the packed out auditorium of the New Theatre Oxford as the crowd waited in anticipation for The Official RuPaul's Drag Race UK Series Two Tour to start.

The sold-out show saw a crowd made up of people of all ages and backgrounds fill the theatre, ready to celebrate the extravagant, gender-bending campiness of drag.

You could definitely tell it was a Friday night show because the atmosphere before the performance even began was absolutely electric. It felt like the whole of Oxford was ready to embrace RuPaul’s queens.

The show featured the entire 12-drag queen strong cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK series two, including stars Lawrence Chaney, Bimini Bon-Boulash, Tayce and Ellie Diamond.

Oxford Mail: RuPaul Drag Race Season 2 Tour. Picture: Jon RhodesRuPaul Drag Race Season 2 Tour. Picture: Jon Rhodes

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, based on the American television show of the same name, is a reality competition which aims to find the next ‘Drag Superstar’. Since the programme began airing on BBC Three it has made huge stars of its drag queens, bringing drag culture to the forefront of British mainstream culture.

If you have never been to a drag show before, you would be surprised how passionate and enthralled drag fans are.

That, in itself, highlights the fast changing appeal of drag and wider LGBT+ culture from the fringe to the mainstream.

Oxford Mail: RuPaul Drag Race Season 2 Tour. Picture: Jon RhodesRuPaul Drag Race Season 2 Tour. Picture: Jon Rhodes

Go back a decade ago, when the American version of RuPaul’s show was in its early years, and drag was a bit of a niche interest. While drag has always held a firm space in LGBT+ culture, with the underground New York ballroom scene of the 1970s and 80s kickstarting it, it was not considered ‘conventional’.

Undeniably, it is this very lack of convention, alongside fast changing societal attitudes to gender, sexuality and sex, which has drawn drag into popular culture and the hearts and minds of the wider population.

Simply put, there are as many types of drag as there are people who enjoy drag. In the show at the New Theatre Oxford, for example, there was the quirky comedy of Ginny Lemon or the poll dancing of Bimini Bon-Boulash.

When the show started, the crowd went absolutely berserk and the screams which echoed around the room were akin to a boyband performance, or religious experience.

Oxford Mail: tashcarpenter@hotmail.co.uktashcarpenter@hotmail.co.uk

Scottish drag queen, and winner of series two, Lawrence Chaney introduced the show and rattled off the various achievements of the queens since they appeared on the show (there have been lots).

The show then got underway, with each performer taking to the stage to have their individual moment in the spotlight.

Each act was as different from the last, some were hilarious, some raunchy and some showed off the sheer singing and dancing talent of the queens.

Oxford Mail: RuPaul Drag Race Season 2 Tour. Picture: Jon RhodesRuPaul Drag Race Season 2 Tour. Picture: Jon Rhodes

The absolute stand-out star of the night was Bimini Bon-Boulash, who has shot to stratospheric fame since featuring on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

Bimini performed an incredible poll dancing routine which made the crowd go absolutely wild.

At the end, all the queens joined together for one final performance where they even gave a short rendition of their smash hit single ‘UK Hun?’. This got the entirety of the New Theatre Oxford up on their feet, which felt magical and epic at the same time.

Overall, the show was a phenomenal medley of performances which thrilled an eager crowd of die-hard drag race fans.


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