Theatre

Trixie Mattel gags with raucous comedy, reveals and a live band in long-awaited Grown Up tour

Reiss Smith May 11, 2022
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Trixie Mattel performing Grown Up.

Trixie Mattel performing Grown Up. (Laura Duffy)

Trixie Mattel: Grown Up is a slick, raucous mix of comedy, music and camp.

Trixie Mattel is a woman who wears many hats: drag queen, YouTuber, musician, make-up mogul, author, motel owner and, most importantly, Skinny Legend.

When it comes to her night at the London Palladium, the largest UK stop on her Grown Up tour, some of those hats are more appropriate than others.

The show itself is a slick mix of comedy and live music, delivered in full drag regalia, with an appropriate amount of costume changes and reveals. It’s captivating stuff: the jokes are razor-sharp, the live band turn the tracks up to 11, and the blend of the two is well thought-through.

Where the wheels come off slightly is at the top of the show, where Trixie attempts to shoe-horn in her businesswoman persona.

What’s billed as the first act is actually a preview of her upcoming Discovery+ docuseries Trixie Motel, in which the drag queen, as the title suggests, does up a Palm Springs motel.

While the preview looks promising, its inclusion (projected onto the back of the stage) feels crass, not least because it’s sandwiched between relentless adverts for Trixie’s albums, make-up line, and other products. The hustle is admirable, but capitalism isn’t exactly a strong warm-up act.

Drag queen Trixie Mattel appears in a blue bathing suit as she sits on top of a surfboard in a sandy, beach-like setting
Trixie Mattel. (Albert Sanchez)

Forty-five minutes after the expected start, Trixie Mattel takes to the stage, and soon enough all is forgiven. She reveals herself to have become a solid stand-up comic, showing a marked improvement from previous, less successful shows.

If you like your comedy dark, you’ll be at home here – many jokes rely on shock value, but that’s not necessarily a complaint. The script is zippy and nine times out of 10 the jokes land, hitting relatable notes while sending up Trixie’s determinedly-unrelatable persona.

When it comes to music, the set, wisely, focuses on upbeat tracks and comedic numbers, with a few well-known hits towards the end. Musically, Trixie has long stood apart from other Drag Race alumni, eschewing electropop death-drop bangers for country and indie-folk. She’s a decent songwriter, a compelling performer, and here the setlist is all killer, no filler.

If you weren’t already convinced that Trixie Mattel is the break-out star of Drag Race, Grown Up is pretty convincing stuff. Just keep the TV previews online next time, please.

4/5

Trixie Mattel: Grown Up will play in Brighton and Cambridge before touring Europe and tickets are available from ticketmaster.co.uk and ticketmaster.com.

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