Relish Theatre’s drag cabaret show was my choice to close off this year’s Vault Festival viewing. Staged in the Flair Ground – which is the same space in which I saw Bare: A Pop Opera in 2019.
James McDermott’s new extravaganza has climate issues and rewritten pop classics on its mind, as Alex Acid (Joshua Oakes-Rogers), wayward daughter in a fiery get-up, threatens Mother Nature (Son of a Tutu).
Nature’s club is under threat of obliteration, but so is the world, as Acid’s siblings Sea (Scarlett Harlett, a mermaid Bond girl with a rosy gun), Land (sexy drag king Jamie Fuxx) and Air (Mischa Velasco) show in their routines.
This is a show that has fun and frolics while making its point about choking plastics, suffocating oil, and swirling pollutants. For Mother Earth, this is a matter of reigning in Acid and changing her viewpoint.
As a drag cabaret, it felt odd to be watching it at 6.15, but underground it can be any time, and the acts were confident, committed, and catty. There’s a lot of auduence interaction of cheeky repartee.
‘Is this the Muppet Christmas Carol?’, quips Acid, as she waits for her three siblings to take aim. Yes, there are parallels, but this isn’t your regular ghost story.
This is a funny show with a stand-out performance from Fuxx (amazing vocals and charisma) and a lot of drag drama. Oakes-Rogers’s Acid is a top mistress of the pout and posture, and such a buzz to watch.
And that’s, the rather heavy-footed message aside, the real meaning of Acid’s Reign, and as the stage is filled with audience members boogieing to ‘It’s Raining Men’, everyone heads off happy.
Acid’s Reign has finished its Vault run, but you can check out Relish Theatre’s website here for future productions.
Photo credit: Cam Harle