Sitting in the Studio in the Gala Theatre with pop anthems blaring, waiting for Bonnie and The Bonnettes to come on stage, set the scene for what was to come. Think neon wigs, songs that you sing in the shower, fantastic chemistry and a boatload of sparkle, Drag Me To Love is the ultimate feel good experience.
The year is 2009 and the destination is Doncaster. Cameron Sharp at 14 years old has found sanctuary as drag queen, Bonnie Love. This play is a coming of age story laced with themes of identity and acceptance – it is both hilarious and in parts melancholy. The story is told in chronological order, with the help of: classic/the best pop anthems; top tips about the world of drag; and last but absolutely not least (which I can’t stress enough) Hattie Eason and Becky Glendenning. The show is well rehearsed and seamless, the chemistry between the cast is incredible. Eason belting out Total Eclipse of the Heart, Sharp lip-synching along in true drag fashion and Glendenning throwing some sick moves with ribbon in the background had me both in awe and crying with laughter, which some would say is the perfect combination.
Drag Me to Love is short but sweet at only 45 minutes long, but you don’t leave feeling as if anything is missing. The story is autobiographical and beautifully written, it allows us a glimpse into the glamorous and competitive world of drag as well as the development of a young boy’s identity and acceptance of himself. Bonnie and The Bonnettes allow you to see snippets of the ways in which Cameron was able to keep this part of his life a secret for so long – doing extra jobs to up his pocket money and glass collecting in the drag club he first danced, then performed in. I really loved that how in an almost poetic way, everything comes full circle; Cameron has moved off to university after blocking out the part of his life that brought him such joy, but meets two girls who became his best friends and in turn became The Bonnettes.
I walked out of Drag Me to Love with a spring in my step and mentally preparing which pop classics I would be listening to and trying to sing along with on the drive home. Hand on heart, I enjoyed every minute of the show and I certainly wasn’t the only one – the standing ovation says far more about the performance than I could ever put into words.