It may only still be November but after last years nothingy event, it is perfectly acceptable that Christmas shows are spreading the festive cheer even earlier this year. Bringing the holiday spirit to our shores as part of a world tour are two of the finest Queens from RuPaul's Drag Race - Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme.
Having appeared on the fifth and sixth seasons of the show respectively, Jinkx and DeLa have teamed up to form a formidable double act. Their holiday shows have become a staple of the season over the past few years though they were unable to tour it last year due to "The Global Oopsie Daisy" as DeLa refers to it. As you can imagine, that has given them plenty of amunition for this years The Return show, and boy do they use it to their advantage!
Using the classic "Odd Couple" method, Jinkx and DeLa are, on paper, as opposite as they come. DeLa is sweet and innocent, seeing the good in everything, while Jinkx is crass and vulgar. While DeLa sees all the joy in the festive season, Jinkx couldn't care less. Their opposing feelings form the centrepiece to this show and create some of the funniest moments as they react to eachothers very different views.
At its best, the show is wickedly funny with cleverly written sketches both on stage and pre-recorded video. A recurring filmed sequence based on the 12 days of Christmas provides some of the biggest laughs of the evening while Jinkx's powerpoint presentation on why "Christmas is totally queerbaiting us" comparing the likes of Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman to Harry Styles and Timothee Chalamet is one of the most surreal yet hilarious things you will witness.
The "Worldwide boo-boo" has given the pair an abundance of material and while it might seem too soon given how fresh it all feels, there is something cathartic about being able to laugh about it all. Some instantly quotable lines are a testament to the fantastic writing with the genius wordplay of "I'm done performing on laptops. I want to perform on a tops lap" summing up the jokes on the night.
The show uses some comtemporary songs and holiday classics but rewritten to create humour. This reaches peak genius in Jinkx's 'A Gay In A Stranger' while BenDeLaCreme does a brilliant take on Lizzo's 'Rumours'. The shows finale 'Everyone Is Traumatised By Christmas' shows the pair for the brilliant comedy writers they are. It is also worth noting that for all the laughs, there is some real talent on that stage with Jinkx in particular showcasing an incredible voice, that makes it hard to laugh at on a redition of 'O Holy Night' (complete with hilarious albeit niche Patti LaBelle reference).
It's not all as polished as you would hope though with moments being as messy and inconsistent as Christmas Day with the family. A shoehorned in plot about the pair falling out leads to pacing problems and a drop in quality in the second act, though that in itself is a testament to how strong the first act is. The novelty of DeLa's puppet "Peppy" wears off so quickly, you'd wish she'd eliminate herself - though thankfully the performers are in agreement on that one. Once these handful of UK dates are over, the tour moves across the pond for far more dates in America. Some of the jokes are clearly designed for an American audience and fall flat for British audiences, with one gag in particular leading to an awkward deathly silence, leading to the Queens commenting "That one is going to kill in America".
While it may have its inconsistent moments, the flaws of the show only add to its charm. Camp as Christmas - when it's at its best, it really is brilliant. Some hilarious one liners and fantastic one liners all performed by two incredibly talented Queens made this a fabulously festive evening. Catch the pair in their remaining UK dates before they sashay away.
The Return of The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show is coming to a town near you, with remaining dates acorss the UK, Canada and America before Christmas. Tickets from https://www.jinkxanddela.com/tour