I do like this time of year. Lots of acts decided to try out their show before heading up north to the Edinburgh Festival. So I get to see productions without having to spend seven hours on a train and live for a month in a B&B which was probably 50% cheaper the week before. So it was last night when a trip to the Miller pub gave me an opportunity to see the Dragprov Revue before it went to the land of tartan and kilts.
Dragprov Revue is a two-hander with drag king Christian Adore (Francesca Forristal) and drag queen Eaton Messe (Ed Scriven) improvising the story of their lives to words given by the audience. Obviously, being improv, each show is totally different but the format is, I’m guessing, similar throughout. So, in this case, we had scenes based on various moments of Christian and Eaton’s lives both together and prior to their meeting. These scenes were both verbal – with some wonderful acting as in the mild delivery man one – and sung. This was where the two performers really shone and took the show to another level of excellence. Not only did they make up some superb songs, in widely differing styles – I’m talking blues, heavy metal and not to mention country and western – but they both have really excellent singing voices which really brings each number alive.
The fact that we have a man playing a woman and vice versa really adds another element to the great mix of improv and singing. In fact, it’s difficult to think of anything that is wrong with Dragprov Review and I had a thoroughly good time over the course of the hour I spent with Christian and Eaton.
The performers themselves are first-rate and there is not only an obvious friendship between them but also a wonderful trusting relationship that is a vital element of classic improv performances. The two not only work well together, and sound great but look really spectacular. In particular, I loved the fact that Eaton wasn’t an over the top drag queen with a massive dress, 12-inch heels, and a 4ft wig, but looked very much like a sophisticated young lady accompanied by a handsome gentleman with gorgeous hair. A couple made in heaven you might think.
All in all, the Dragprov Revue was the perfect combination of two of my favourite performance styles. My time with the two performers was highly enjoyable and extremely entertaining. My only regret was that the show wasn’t longer but, I was more than content with what I got. In my opinion, everyone thinking of booking something in Edinburgh needs to get themselves a ticket and see this brilliantly funny show.
Review by Terry Eastham
By day, Francesca Forristal and Ed Scrivens are a school teacher and an Oxford University PhD Egyptologist; by night, they transform into the drag king and queen double act ‘The Dragprov Revue’. Taking audience suggestions, they improvise a musical cabaret of songs, skits and freestyle raps. Christian Adore and Eaton Messe are a RuPaul meets Whose-Line-Is-It-Anyway fusion of high energy, acerbically witty drag, improv and music.
The Miller Pub
96 Snowsfields.London Bridge. London. Se1 3ss
The Nursery Improv Theatre
Sixth Floor, Capital House, Weston Street, London SE1 3QD