RuPaul’s Drag Race star Latrice Royale, will be reprising her role of Summer Raine in the epic DeathDrop shash-hit play, joining the cast for the final two weeks of the run on 13th April, after Jujubee departs following her final performance on 10th April.
Following rave reviews, a hugely successful UK tour and two sold out West End runs, the smash hit show sashayed back into London, at the Criterion Theatre for a triumphant third time until Sunday 24 April.
Joining the previously announced Latrice Royale as Summer Raine, Kitty Scott-Claus as Shazza and Holly Stars as the Bottomley Sisters, Drag Race UK star Vinegar Strokes as Lady Von Fistenburg, George Orell as Phil Maker, Richard Energy as Rich Whiteman, Anna Phylactic as Morgan Pierce and Apple Derrieres swinging in and covering the entire show in extraordinary fashion.
Latrice Royale said: “I can’t wait to return to the cast of Death Drop, get on that stage and perform in the Criterion Theatre. It’s going to be so much fun; I don’t think the West End is ready to have me back!”
Described by Attitude as a “killer show” and “rollicking good fun” by The Guardian, Death Drop is written by Holly Stars. This “dazzling and delightfully camp comedy” is “jam-packed with hilarious one liners” and guaranteed to provide laugh-out-loud comedy that we all need right now. This show is like nothing you’ve seen ever before!
Before the premiere, Latrice stopped over to speak with us here at YASS HQ and we talked about everything!
Latrice welcome to YASS magazine. So happy to have you here. How are you doing?
I’m doing very well. Thank you. I’m really excited to be back and to be getting back to work and it just feels good. It feels great.
So you’re back because you’re gonna be starring at the Deathdrop play, right?
Yes, I’m returning to finish what I started. Unfortunately, the last time I got COVID and had to leave 2 weeks earlier, but here I am this time so I get to finish what I started and I’m excited. I’ve missed you and I have missed London.
How do you feel coming back to Deathdrop?
Oh my goodness! It is so exciting. It’s a full circle moment and it’s different. A lot of the cast members are different than I originally played with. I’m so excited to work with Kitty Scott Claus and Vinegar Strokes and all the drag kings who are just brilliant. I can’t wait!
Are we expecting to see something different now with your return to the show?
The play remains the same. However, the energy that each of us brings is definitely different, you know? We all have our own way of digesting and relating to his character and presenting it in a whole special way. I’m returning to reclaim my time.
So, I was going to ask you if you had trouble and difficulties memorising all the lines, but since you have already done it, it must have been a piece of cake the second time.
You know, it’s funny that you said that because I thought that I would have problems remembering all the lines, but my husband has a very different view of me than I do. And he was never worried for one second, so when he was helping me read through it, and it was just coming out like liquid, I gained confidence and it was really refreshing to know I can do it so easily and this calmed my nerves.
With so many drag queens and drag kings in the play, is there competition between you and the other drag performers?
Oh, absolutely not. There’s no competition. We all want each other to do equally well because that just makes it better for everyone else. So, definitely there are no weak links in this cast. And from my understanding, even the ones that I have not worked with are just absolutely brilliant. I can’t wait to share the stage and see the different energy each one brings.
What’s your opinion about British audience?
British audience takes no nonsense. I love British audience. If they love something, they love it, if they don’t, you will know it too.
Do you like London?
I love London. I really do. I have what we call a chosen family here and so it’s really great that I can come home. This is like my second home, basically. I really feel like I’m seen here. You know, it’s important for people to get you and a lot of people resonate with me and my story, my journey and that makes me feel warm and fuzzy all inside.
How has life been the last the last years?
You know navigating through the pandemic was a learning curve for all of us and definitely for me. I grew a lot physically and I was pushing myself to do things that I didn’t think that I would be able to do. I had to learn how to be my own lighting engineer and technician and editor and all these kinds of things to produce content for the masses, so that I can sustain and keep my life going. And some of the biggest moments came out of a pandemic. I didn’t realise I had a huge brand campaign and that really showed me that anything is possible. I grew and learned a lot.
What do you think about the British version of Drag Race?
The biggest change is on the format and on the RuPeter badges, but it’s the same amount of work. These girls are still putting in the same amount of work for the notoriety and things they’re trying to get. And, it’s working! And I’m glad that they get a chance to travel over to the US and around the world and be seen and, and make their coin.
Do you think that the drag fans in the UK are different compared the American ones?
There is definitely a difference. That goes with everything. Like I said, the UK people if they don’t like that and they call it out. And I love that. This is so wonderful attribute and characteristic they have.The US and the UK fans are amazing, but we have a lot of toxicity sometimes. But for the most part, it’s all positive and it’s everyone’s just trying to have a good time and do some drag and make people feel good and laugh and bring entertainment. These girls work very hard and spend a lot of money on their craft just to entertain you. So be kind.
Do you still keep in touch with the other queens of your seasons?
Of course. We are very close to each other. With Manila we have a podcast together! I still talk to Trinity and Mo and many many more. We’re good friends and sisters and we toured together and been on buses together and we still stay in touch and check in on each other.
Would you go back to a Drag Race?
Hell, no. That was a resounding “Hell no”, I’m done. I feel like that horse has been beaten to death. I won’t be a Jujubee in a situation. I just feel like I have other things to do. And I think drag race is more for those who are trying to get to where I’m going and where I’ve been, and so I’m letting them have their moment so they can try to catch up.
What’s your opinion about the evolution of drag race?
Well, thank God for this evolution, that is the best thing that we can ever hope for; to evolve and grow. And kudos to RuPaul and all the producers that are really shining more light and visibility to the trans community because we need to see it normalised and being a part of our daily life, because we’re all human, and they’re no different than you or me. It’s so important that people see the human nature of these artists that are appearing on the show, so that they can be normalised and steam has just another part of humanity.
Do you think we’re going see soon drag kings too?
Well, I would hope so. It happened with Dragula, and I feel like drag race needs to catch up, but they’re doing their part and I feel like it’s possible that we might have a drag king. We’re still working within our community and for people to understand that all drag is valid, whether you are a drag king or drag queen, whether you’re trans or non-binary or gay or bi or straight even. We’re breaking boundaries and breaking the mould and I think that’s important to keep both conversations going and show that drag is indeed for every one.
Who are you supporting for season 14?
I’m a Willow Pill stan. And her story and her journey is so inspiring. And in fact, I use her as inspiration for me and my journey. If she is going up against her odds, and excelling, there’s no excuse for me because I have working limbs and I have a working parts that don’t prevent me from doing certain things. The only thing that prevents me from doing certain things is my laziness. So, let’s not be lazy and strap it up and get on it. Willow is so inspiring and an amazing drag queen and brilliant comic and she just has it all.
What are your future plans?
DragCon LA is definitely number one. And then, I’m going to be trying to get myself together for my US tour. It is going to be exciting, see you all there.
Tickets are on sale now from DeathDropPlay.com.
First Performance: 4 March 2022
Jujubee Final Performance: 10 April 2022
Latrice Royale First Performance: 13 April 2022
Final performance: 24 April 2022
Performances: Wednesday – Thursday at 8pm, Friday at 5pm & 8.30pm,
Saturday at 4pm & 8pm and Sunday at 4pm