WORDS by Ollie Tunmore

In a Bournemouth Echo exclusive, I spent the evening with the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 winner, Yvie Oddly, and some of the finest talent in the local drag scene.

Arriving at DYMK, a leading LGBTQ+ venue in Bournemouth triangle, at around 6pm, I was greeted by the friendly team and regulars sat at the bar. Taken to the stage area, I met with London drag queen Soroya Marchelle and the winner of the club’s monthly lip-sync battle, Delatrixx. Rushing to put the finishing touches to their outfits, I get to know the pair as Soroya battles with some fake nails and Dellatrixx waits for the delivery of her wig. Nothing out of the ordinary for a drag show, I soon gathered.

As the show neared and the venue filled, I met with the other queens on the line-up: Petty Nonsense (in full-drag already, complete with a latex-covered face), Lola King (who had come straight from their graduation ceremony) and host for the evening - the power house that is Crystal Lubrikunt. A little before doors open, I hear the world-renowned cackle that is, Yvie Oddly. She appears and greets the girls with a kiss to the cheek and hurries off to get ready for the meet and greet, and the following set.

Opening the show, host Crystal starting the event with a bang, performing a mix of Pride-themed songs throughout the show. With the crowd warmed and the venue full, the first act to the stage was lip-sync winner and new-to-the-scene star, Dellatrixx.

Performing a medley of Paramore tracks, the audience were infatuated by her rock ‘n roll chic, complete with ‘death drops’, high kicks and wig-spinning. Swinging from the stage rig and dropping flat to the floor, Dellatrixx had the room in the palm of their hands.

Next, familiar face Lola King came to the stage, performing a medley of ‘Million Dollar Bill’ by Whitney Houston and ‘Just Got Paid’ by Ella Eyre. Lola looked stunning in her usual look of gloves, boots and the famed red glasses, and brought a certain cool and collected style to the stage.

Finally came the time for Drag Race royalty, Yvie Oddly, to take centre stage for her first number. Creeping backwards into sight and greeted by a phenomenally loud audience, Yvie opened with a rendition of Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’. Grabbing a fan’s hand and strangling herself with their hand, Yvie far from shied away from the sold-out venue. Finishing the act to thunderous applause and cheering, Yvie commented: “Well that’s quite the warm welcome isn’t it! Y’all make me feel bad for still not knowing how to exactly pronounce Bournemouth…?!”

After a short break, the second half of the show continued. First up, host Crystal took the opportunity to use her platform to address the more serious issues underlying in the world at present. “I’m so grateful we have this space to celebrate who we are, especially considering that a couple in Camden were beaten just a few weeks ago, and trans women of colour are literally being killed in America.” She continued: “Thank you, DYMK, for making this a safe and celebratory space for us all. But remember everyone, look out for each other.”

Next up for this section was one of the boldest Drag acts I’ve ever seen. Appearing in a hospital gown with their mouth and eyes covered in latex, Petty Nonsense delivered a moving performance which resulted in them being almost nude, covered in false blood on the stage. A notable shift of tone from the other queens performing, the fans cheered endlessly for the courage and bravery involved in Petty Nonsense’s act.

Penultimately, London’s Soroya Marchelle took to the stage to deliver her medley of tracks, focused around ‘Holding Out for a Hero’ which was the camp anthem we all needed. Appearing in a beautiful silver body suit and blonde wig, she gave the audience one final push of energy before the concluding number.

Concluding the evening, Yvie performed of one of her most talked-about moments on season 11 of Drag Race – her lip-sync of ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ by Demi Lovato. Within the first beat of the song, the entire room was captivated by Yvie’s routine. Flipping, ‘death-dropping’ and jumping across the (tiny) stage, the energy in the room was ecstatic. I have never heard screams like that.

Revealing three different wigs and throwing herself across the stage from move to move, Yvie proved herself as an unquestionably worthy winner of Drag Race, and as nothing short of natural born entertainer. Yvie looked stunned by the response from fans. And I believe her response. She looked genuinely touched by the ludicrously loud audience, marking a definite success to her first show in the UK as the crowned winner of drag race.

DYMK is a small venue, with plenty going on. With regular events such as Fierce Fridays and multiple charitable events, this really is a space that embraces and celebrates its own – the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Assistant manager Lloyd Hammond commented: “Our main goals behind these events is to celebrate Drag Race stars and to give the local queens a platform and a spotlight to shine in. We’re delighted with how the evening went, marking our first ever Drag Race winner’s show!”.

Tickets for the venue’s next ‘For the Love of Drag’ event with Plastique Tiara are available here: http://dymk-bar.com/