Pecs: The Boys Are Back in Town review – drag kings cast off lockdown woes and double denims

一种fter almost two years of very little access to live queer spaces, Pecs make a welcome return to the stage. To treat their audience, the female and non-binary drag collective made their new production the sexiest show they possibly could. As the group strip themselves of lockdown, double denim, and patriarchal norms, there is plenty to please, but The Boys Are Back in Town doesn’t quite live up to its own hype.

Packed in, drawn on and taped up, these kings are led by brilliant Glaswegian compere John Travulva (Jodie Mitchell). A natural comic, his dig at Drag Race and his story of getting a haircut in a barbers that’s suffocating from its own masculinity are highlights. But his co-host Loose Willis (Katy Bulmer) doesn’t have such certainty of character, and the duo’s scheming between sets to find the right outfit is too meek a through-thread to sustain the show.

Two lockdown saviours – and unlikely drag stars – make the best cabaret performances of the night. Izzy Aman (Isabel Adomakoh Young, recently in Regent’s Park’s Romeo and Juliet) does an excellent set lip-syncing to soothing American painter Bob Ross, complete with calming canvas, while a feline performance from Scott Free (Rosie Potts) extends a joke of people merging with their pets into a sexy, cat-food-fuelled show. Both acts are clear in who they are and how they toy with their drag. Mr Goldenballs (Helena Fallstrom) also gives a memorable, lube-slicked show with his queer corporate diversity drive. The creativity of these boys lifts the show, standing out against some less tight sets and mediocre dances that feel like filler.

The Boys Are Back In Town may not be Pecs at their best, but overall, they deliver a fun celebration of queer spaces, gay sex and gender euphoria – and it’s nothing but a pleasure to be in a room of people cheering for non-binary beauty. We need more drag on our main stages, more kings thrusting, grinding, and lubing up peaches in joyous, mustachioed celebrations of queer life and love.

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