Do you like drag queens, evenings in Soho, or enjoy watching an episode of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” every now and then? If yes, have you ever asked yourself “Ok, the outfits and makeup look stunning, but why do these people really do what they do”? “Every Last Detail” is a show that might give you one example of a story and reasoning behind a drag queen’s life. Through her childhood, coming out while in a catholic school, and first jobs – we accompany Kyran Thrax in her story as it unfolds into a more complete life narrative.
Cruella de Thrax
The performance starts with a bang. Kyran Thrax, the drag queen hailing from the north of England, enters the stage in a stunning costume, accompanied by two male dancers, and starts an original song (that’s impressive!). The song gave me some serious “Cruella de Vil” vibes, both with the melody and the character introduction – a fantastic start to the show!
Kyran is an obnoxious, loud, in-your-face queen. She presents a show that’s a mix of a monologue showcasing a life story, a drag show, a standup comedy, and some improv done by conversing with the audience. There are a couple of questions that get asked throughout the performance, but the most important one would be “Why do I do drag”?
“Every Last Detail” walks the fine line between a mix of fun, loud lip-synch, and a personal, quiet storytelling time. It tries to break the usual drag show rule of one-sided communication, where usually the microphone is off, as the queen does the playback singing. Here, you do get the pre-recorded songs, but there’s lots of actual acting, and even live singing. And some audience conversations (borderline roast sometimes?).
Walking the Tightrope
Is that fine line well-balanced? In my opinion, not so much. The majority of the time we get the over-the-top songs and dancing, that showcase each chapter of Kyran’s life. They’re well-done in terms of choreography and costumes (I have to applaud the quick change that happens behind the scenes, it’s surprising how fast Kyran shows on a stage wearing not just a new outfit, but also a wig and shoes). Is it something more than you would see in a good drag show, however? Not so much.
The part of the show that’s much more interesting is the personal, quiet time when the music is off, lights are up and Kyran just talks about her – sometimes very traumatic- experiences. This, and open communication with the audience, adds a value that you probably wouldn’t see during a drag show elsewhere – it’s the layer where you see the real performer and their pain. I wish there was more of it in the show, or even better – if after the performance there was a 10-min Q&A with the audience where Kyran could respond to whatever issues were still unfinished or untold in the show.
Currently, it’s still a little imbalanced and tilts towards a good-quality drag performance – a very decent one, but I’m sure it could be improved to show more of the real story. I have to say, it’s very well marked – you know exactly when Kyran is being a punk queen and just joking, and when she’s more real and talking about the actual life – the lights, music, and stage setting (sitting closer to the audience, etc) creates two easy to distinct parts of the show. This, unfortunately, is not done with segments where dancers are supposed to shine.
You and me… but mostly me
Ok, let me tell you about what got me super excited: both dancers get their stage time and also get to share a few of their stories and motivations to be in the show. It’s usually unheard of in shows like this, so breaking the usual rules here was a great idea. It’s quite obvious that these moments are there for a reason (usually for Kyran’s outfit change), but there’s a lot of potentials to fill these moments and make them feel like a proper part of the show.
However… Do you remember the moment in “Book of Mormon” where Andrew Rannells is supposed to focus on teamwork and his new Mormon colleague (Josh Gad), but instead ends up focusing on himself in the song? Well, this is what I felt about the dancers’ segments. These moments would work so well if we knew how “real” these stories are! But because both dancers play the role of comedic “sidekicks” to Kyran, through their solo performances I was not sure if what they talk about is a comedy or their real story. After all, it’s still a Kyran Thrax show, and mostly a monologue.
Judas of the Catholic School
“Every Last Detail” is a fun show and quite a wild ride. It’s not for the faint of heart, or those who prefer to just watch a show unbothered (you might end up interacting with Kyran quite a lot). It’s also a little raw, but with lots of potentials. I think that “Every Last Detail” will eventually evolve into a show that will tour all of the LGBTQ+ locations in the UK.
But for now, it’s moving to York next week – so go, laugh, support Kyran, and have a fabulous evening. And maybe stay after the show to ask her some questions of your own?
PS Kyran, I do hope you’ll end up getting that awesome house for your mom! xoxo
Directed by: Sophie Walmsley
Written by: Kyran Thrax
Ticket price: £12.50++
14 -26 June 2022
PR invite: I received a ticket for the play from the production company. All opinions are my own.