”Death Drop: Back in the Habit” at the Garrick Theatre and on tour – review

River Medway, Cheryl Hole, Willam and Victoria Scone
River Medway, Cheryl Hole, Willam and Victoria Scone
© Matt Crockett

Following several successful West End runs and a UK tour, killer drag murder mystery Death Drop returns for a sequel (or, second coming) with “Back In The Habit”. While the first instalment saw the cast in an Agatha Christie spoof set on the mysterious Tuck Island, this iteration has transferred itself to a nunnery. Think Sister Act meets The Crucible with large helpings of American Horror Story: Asylum.

A quartet of Sister Marys live in the secluded convent of St Bab’s, where secrets and slashers lurk. With a visit from the Vatican in the form of Father Alfie Romeo (LoUis CYfer), can the Sisters solve the mystery of the convent and stop the serial slashings?

The small cast of drag superstars (many being Drag Race alums) give their all in this energetic production that simply doesn’t stop. Following a star turn in Death Drop, CYfer is fantastic as the Father confused by the goings-on at St Bab’s, with great moments of physical comedy. As his foil, Victoria Scone is simply regal as Mother Superior, while Cheryl Hole as Sister Mary Berry serves face aplenty across all her scenes (and, indeed, Cheryl does do a death drop).

As Sister Maria Julie Andrews (by far one of the top jokes of the show), River Medway is a standout. Medway encapsulates the whimsy and airiness of Julie Andrews with delight – from spinning as if on top of a mountain to talking to birds. Medway’s song at the end of act one (a royalty-free edition of “My Favourite Thing”) is a winner and what really kicks the show into high gear. Returning to the Death Drop universe is Willam as Sis Titis: a droll, sarcastic nun who is clearly Mother’s favourite. Willam’s delivery of one-liners is superb along with a throwback to a song from the previous run.

While the plot is much thinner than its predecessor, the show is full innuendo aplenty and big, bombastic moments inspired by classic horror movies. Act 2 is, quite simply, a fever dream involving a satanic puppet and the undead. The show is undoubtedly at it’s best when it leans into simple theatrical humour. There are several ‘walking on the spot’ moments with reference to a lack of set, and there’s nothing quite like a piece of set not hitting its mark in the spotlight. Corrina Buchan as Romeo’s Inner Voice plays an excellent role in this strand of affairs – their presence is missed in the rest of the show.

A show filled with references upon references, this is sheer camp delight best enjoyed with several glasses of red wine.

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