Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales: Together Again, Again! ★★★★★

The winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 (in case you forgot) and her music partner Major Scales embark on a London residency before heading off on a UK tour.

Expectations were high at the Leicester Square Theatre London on the first evening of Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scale’s 13-night London residency of Together Again, Again! 

And why not? Jinkx Monsoon is a Drag Race legend. Trivia fans, start your engines… Jinkx won Season 5 (obviously). She holds the record of the contestant who placed in the top for the most consecutive episodes – an incredible eight (yes EiGHT) episodes in a row. She was the first Drag Race winner to have won the Snatch Game! Don’t tell us that The Recs isn’t educational!

The concept of Together Again, Again runs something like this: we are in the far future. 2065 if you want to be precise. The show opens with a news reel update from the ‘News Orb’, reflecting on the musical duo’s “illustrious” careers, charting their rise to moderate success and their subsequent fall to years of obscurity leading up to this show.

Jinkx has become a faded TV movie starlet and Major has faded into musical obscurity. They are clinging onto what little scraps of fame they have left. This cleverly introduces any audience members unfamiliar with the characters of Jinkx and Major Scales, giving them the opportunity to catch up and feel included from the start.

In the film footage, we also learn that earth is now under the control of alien overlords (nothing changes then), and that Jinx has a biological son, Kamikaze, with a fondness for alien lizards! Apparently you’ve never had a blow job until you’ve had one from a forked tongue!

The audience are reminded throughout the performance that this is their first time together on stage for many, many, many (the number is hazy) years and we are witness to their emotional journey as they reconnect and air their mutual grudges and grievances in public. 

From the very moment Jinkx and Major Scales walk, sorry shuffle on stage, the pair are in character – as aged cabaret entertainers – throughout. Jinkx’s normal ginger hair now has been woven with strands of grey (A fantastic creation by Wig Chapel). She wears a sparkly black trouser suit clearly designed for figure of a lady of a certain age – quite possibly from the House of Minnelli – instantly conjures bygone cabaret legends like Carol Channing, Millicent Martin and Elaine Stritch.

The opening song, a reworking of Hello Dolly – “Hello (looks at hand) London!” – is met with wild applause from an audience that have waited eagerly for this much-postponed show. It’s the first of many musical treats

The musical content of the Together Again, Again elevates the show from your standard-issue drag star show. Where else would you expect to hear a refashioned Zager and Evan’s 1969 hit, In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus), sit cheek by jowl with Sondheim’s madam song, I Never Do Anything Twice, from mostly forgotten 1976 Sherlock Holmes film, ‘The Seven-Per-Cent Solution’. Sophisticated song choices coupled with Major Scales musical dexterity and Jinkx’s incredible, powerful vocal range is worth the ticket price alone. Frankly, there are some who would pay to see Jinkx fellate the microphone again.

And of course the show is hilarious. The jokes come thick and fast. Subjects from the imagined deaths of Drag Race Stars to them composing the theme song to A Star Is Born sequel (yep that title definitely ticks the outrageous box) hit the London audience’s comedy sweet spot. She even casts a satirical eye over the British political landscape. Discussing the future world governed by lizards, she adds dryly “still better than the Tories” before making a mental note to change that quip depending on where the show goes on its UK tour.

Jinkx doesn’t rely only on pre-scripted material. Her ability to ad-lib was wonderfully showcased on the first night of the Leicester Square residency. Audience members daring to leave for a toilet break during an obviously exhausting dance routine (especially for a lady of a certain age) causing her to repeat the step again, were skillfully rebuked. In truth, she seemed to relish the opportunity to recap her age-appropriate dance moves.

Amidst the smartly leftfield song choices and riotous humour (frankly they could up the filth rate for us Brits), there is something unexpectedly touching about the evening. There’s an undercurrent of positivity that is threaded through this funny, affectionate show.

The multiple postponements due to the pandemic lend Together Again, Again an emotional layer that celebrates the joy of people being in a room together again (again). While the future-retrospective from the year 2065 is a neat hook to hang the show, it is an uncontigent vehicle to showcase Jinkx’s stunning vocals, exquisite comedic timing and an ability thoroughly to entertain a crowd regardless if they are Drag Race devotees or are new to her work.

We know that she took the Drag Race crown. It’s time for Jinkx Monsoon’s coronation as a Queen of Cabaret. Get your tickets now – Together Again, Again is a joyous, whip-smart show that you’ll want to see again, again.

An irresistible 5 stars from The Recs!

Together Again, Again
Tour Dates

Tues 7th - Sat 23rd April (not Sun / Mon) London, The Leicester Square Theatre

Wednesday 27th April: Newcastle, Tyne Theatre and Opera House

Friday 29th April: Edinburgh, The Queens Hall

Saturday 30th April, Leeds, City Varieties Music Hall

Wednesday 4th May: Hull, Hull Truck Theatre

Thursday 5th May : Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre

Friday 6th May and Saturday 7th May: Manchester, Contact

Tuesday 7th June: Brighton, Theatre Royal

Wednesday 8th June: Birmingham, The Alexandra

Friday 10th June: Cardiff, Sherman Theatre

Saturday 11th June: Nottingham, Nottingham Playhouse

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