Drag

Drag Race royalty serve glamour, laughs and fierce lip-syncs in life-affirming Werq the World tour

Josh Milton May 25, 2022
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Miss Vanjie with dancers on the Werq the World stage

The one, the only, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo performing during Werq the World. (Sarah Rhodes)

Asia O’Hara is desperate to turn back time at Werq the World – to 2018, to be exact.

She might not be able to stop the pandemic from happening, but she’s determined to stop that butterfly reveal during the Drag Race season 10 finale. So she’s built a time machine that acts as the main stage for Werq the World.

Like with the dress, though, things don’t go quite to plan. She ends up journeying across time – from 66 million years ago when a meteor wiped out the dinosaurs to a 1961 diamond heist – and she meets some familiar queens on the way.

Though each queen wasn’t introduced by name it didn’t stop the countless fans clocking their favourites and screaming.

Kameron Michaels surrounded by backup dancers
Kameron Michaels brought the house down in RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq the World 2022. ((Sarah Rhodes)

And there were some serious fan favourites: Vanessa ‘Miss Vanjie‘ Mateo, Kameron Michaels, Joregous and more. They all brought unique performances to Werq the World with big-budget effects and even bigger biceped male backing dancers.

Each of their lip-syncs tackled a different time period. Cannabis activist Laganja Estranja smoked a giant spliff to bring the swinging 60s alive, while Plastique Tiara was lowered down like an angel in a lip-sync inspired by Ancient Greece.

All Stars 7 queen Yvie Oddly even became a giant amoeba – because why not – as she took us back to when life itself first started.

Plastique Tiara. (Sarah Rhodes)

Rosé showed off her stunning vocal talent as she introduced the audience to the Mesozoic era. All the sets were soundtracked with sufficiently gay anthems such as Fergie and Beyoncé, often all within the first few seconds.

Killing time between performances, O’Hara had the crowd in stitches, doing the Lord’s work by flirting with a broad-shouldered security and, of course, getting him take his shirt off.

Werq the World wrapped up its time warp with Lady Camden, the London-born season 14 queen who hyper-jumped into a futuristic world where gender no longer exists. She stunned in a metallic two-piece and hot pink hairdo and delivered a performance rivalling her dramatic Freddie Mercury reveal.

Lady Camden. (Sarah Rhodes)

While O’Hara never made it back to season 10, all the Werq the World queens had her back as they ended the show by throwing on butterfly-style capes and uniting for one last performance.

Werq the World is all about accepting who we are and looking around, it’s hard not to see that. People of all ages and walks of life turned up to watch the queens turn outfits and turn breathtaking performances.

Among them was Sarah, a foster care worker from Hampshire, who volunteered to do a lip-sync on stage against a younger gay man – she won by popular vote, of course.

Sarah went with her neighbour, retired NHS worker Carol, and it was both their first drag shows – neither even knew who O’Hara was.

“So you’re a drag show virgin as well?” O’Hara said after walking into the audience to meet the pair. “I’m a complete virgin!” Carol joked back to cheers from the crowd.

“If you enjoyed this show, my name was Asia O’Hara,” O’Hara told them both. “If you do not have a good time, my name is Mayhem Miller.”

The tour resumes in North America on 8 July and you can get tickets from ticketmaster.com.

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