The Dragprov Revue is an improvised drag show hosted once a month by the Jericho Tavern. It’s a nice space which is normally absolutely rammed, and buzzing with anticipation by the time the show starts. As the name suggests, the act is a drag duo, consisting of king Christian Adore (Francesca Forristal) and queen Eaton Messe (Ed Scrivens), who do high-energy and silly improvised comedy. At the heart of their act is a genuine friendship and chemistry which keeps their riffing confident and tight. Some improv derives its energy from the performers’ instability, but what is engaging here is the fact that these two are self-assured and having a great time. Their mastery of the form allows them to have fun with each other, picking on each other’s missteps and turning mistakes into endearing comic interludes, which makes it hard to find anything to criticise.
They work this spirit of cheerful mockery into their audience interaction, reacting to suggestions and inviting an audience member on stage to gently tease them. This time an art gallerist called Jonathan was persuaded to admit his greatest fear, which turned out to be dying in his sleep. The first half of May’s performance also saw a re-enactment of Christian’s gap year, during which time he apparently worked in a dress shop and took in waifs and strays on condition that they perform the can-can to earn their keep. This scene featured Christian playing himself, a skilful turn by Eaton as every other speaking part, and a frankly uncanny baby impression.
Other highlights included an improvised song mourning the loss of a cow, first sung poignantly in soul, then oddly well in the style of musical Avenue Q (together with mimed hand puppets), and finally as if by Avril Lavigne, had she a penchant for bestiality. In my opinion, the most important moment of the night was where the duo righted the wrong this year’s Eurovision did to its queer following, and delivered the camp song about potato smileys that we all deserve. It is worth mentioning at this point that Tom Hodge’s masterful improvised music enabled the entire performance, accompanying both powerhouse vocals and providing atmosphere in spoken scenes as necessary.
The second half consisted of an improvised musical called Drip Drip, Bitch!, which introduced us to an underground restaurant run by the appetisingly-named Doctor Fingers and Professor Tongue. Their business venture’s surprising failure to take off had driven Professor Tongue mad with rage, leading him to enact vengeance by kidnapping scouts who were earning their caving badge. This long-form improvised musical meandered occasionally but was driven along by the same level of energy as the first half. Along the way we learned that one should always lean into one’s fate, even if this fate is death, and that friendship is the most important force of all.
The Dragprov Revue proves consistently one of the best comedy nights in