Native presents: The Vivienne review

Sophie Hicks reviews the Drag ace UK winner The Vivienne's show at the NUSU

Sophie Hicks
1st March 2020
Credit: Boots UK on Youtube
As an avid weekly watcher of Drag Race UK whilst it was airing, when I heard that the winner, The Vivienne, was coming to the NUSU I was very excited.

The Vivienne wasn’t the only one on the stage though, we had two amazing support acts before the reigning Queen herself entered the stage. First up and the host of the night was Newcastle’s own Gladys Duffy, dressed in a lime green leopard print bodysuit with a matching hat. Gladys really started the night on the right foot and brought charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to the show. A personal highlight of mine was her tribute to Don’t F*ck with Cats and lip-synced to songs revolving around cats, to which I started belting Memories from Cats the musical, as one does. I thoroughly enjoyed her performance and if you’re into the drag scene in Newcastle, you may come across her and I highly, highly recommend it if you get the chance.

Between each performance, we had a 15-minute break, to which half of the crowd quickly dashed to the bar to get ready for the next entertainment. The next up on the stage were Youtube sensations Novympia (Nova and Olympia), who immediately set the tone perfectly when they started singing along to the entirety of 'Misery Business' by Paramore. Every 13-year-old repressed emo came alive that night, intensely screaming and dancing along to the song. We then had other tunes such as Frozen 2’s ‘Into the Unknown’ for the non-emo audience members, to then have a Hocus Pocus rendition of 'Not Gonna Get Us' by t.A.T.u which was honestly a spiritual experience. Once again, both the girls were excellent and hyped the crowd for The Vivienne’s entrance. 

She proceeded to take drinks from the audience and chug them down, after exclaiming that she wasn’t planning on getting drunk tonight

It was the time for the Drag Race UK winner The Vivienne to enter the stage, and she did not disappoint. The sore winner (let's be real here, she kept making digs at the other contestants all night!) immediately won me over when her first song was 'Sweet Transvestite' from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a classic for drag shows. Between songs, The Vivienne interacted with the audience and it was honestly a lot of fun. She asked about people’s lives and what courses they studied, and proceeded to take drinks from the audience and chug them down after exclaiming that she wasn’t planning on getting drunk tonight; alas, she was in Newcastle. The Vivienne also performed other songs such as 'Walking in Memphis' and 'Karma Chameleon', and honestly, I was impressed by her singing ability and her stage presence. It was a lot of fun, but it was even better when she brought two members of the audience on stage for a dance-off to win free drinks. This is Newcastle, everyone clamoured for the opportunity of free drinks! 

It was an incredible night and I left feeling exhausted, in terms of my own body for dancing and singing for so long, but also on behalf of the drag queens who put on that performance whilst wearing a corset. If you ever get the chance to go to a drag show or see The Vivienne, I’d definitely recommend it because it’s a guaranteed fun-filled night.

Credit: BBC Three on Youtube
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AUTHOR: Sophie Hicks
Current TV Editor for the Courier studying BA Media Communication and Cultural Studies

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