Dragprov, consisting of improvisational musical theatre nerds-I-mean-legends Christian Adore and Eaton Messe, absolutely blew me away at The Vaults Festival on the 21st February.
Part of their Valentine’s Day special, the night was themed around love, even a week later because, as Christian admitted, they had only just given their girlfriend a card. After acknowledging that Valentine’s Day is pretty much bullshit, the pair asked for suggestions from the audience about things that are great about being single (not to blow my own trumpet but my suggestion of “starfishing in bed” went down a treat), they proceeded to improvise a song about the joys of being single and let me tell you, it included a trip to the aquarium. (To look at starfishes. Get it?)
The main event of the night, however, was a fully improvised musical called ‘Plop!’ (“If you add an exclamation mark on the end, it means it’s musical theatre,” says Eaton Messe) set in a toilet, and made up completely on the spur of the moment. The pair shoot between different characters, including school bullies, the wallflower kids who hide in the toilets to escape them… And the ghost of a man stuck in the toilet wall? Yep, he made an appearance too.
All the quick-witted jokes that one would expect from an improv show are present and correct, but given a glamourous makeover which really sets Dragprov apart from the crowd. There is nothing quite like this around at the moment. It lends a meta layer to the whole performance – not only must the two stay in character as whoever they happened to be playing in “Plop!” at the time, but also in their glittery drag personas.
Christian Adore is the most excitable little camp man with eyeshadow skills to envy and vocals which managed to be a standout of the show (despite Adore admitting they were suffering from strep throat?!). Eaton Messe is a glamorous lady with a quick, sharp tongue and a particular skill at multi rolling. Together they are Dragprov, providing the most fun I’ve had at a queer event in a really long time.
A truly hilarious night. I cried off all my mascara from laughing so much, and made a friend in the front row after complimenting each others’ nail polish. The show was a safe space but also a hilarious one. Thank you, Dragprov, for bringing drag and queer art further into the mainstream. I really hope that they both have a long way to go.