If I were to mention to you the words Stomp or Tap Dogs, you would likely know what I was referring to. But if I were to say Drummer Queens you might, like myself, have never heard of such a show. Much like the two aforementioned productions, Drummer Queens is high energy, exciting, loud and packed full of percussion. Although, instead of bins, brooms and tap shoes, this production is all about the drums!
I have always been a fan of the drums and really love a great drum solo, so I was excited and intrigued by what this production had in store. As the name suggests, Drummer Queens is comprised of eight female drummers that take over the theatre stage with their impressive and powerful drumming skills. It is one thing to have one great drummer up on stage, but to have a wide range of skill performed across several types of drums, that was a sight to behold. From the two full sets, perched up high on opposing platforms, to the mobile mini sets that are pushed around the stage, this show has everything a drum enthusiast could ask for.
It all sounds very exciting, and don’t get me wrong, it definitely is. However, there is only so much drumming that you can take in before you’re waiting to move onto the next performance piece. Sadly yes, at times I felt myself waiting for the performance piece to finish, as it dragged on just a little bit too much. On the flip side, there are definitely performances within this production that had me wanting more. One such performance utilised an electric drum that was able to produce some unique beats. This, along with the incredible lighting design by Richard Neville, made it the performance of the night! There are other moments where the audience are involved with some classic call and repeat hand clapping and these were great until they introduced some off-beat claps to the rhythm that seemed to throw the audience.
This production is definitely a lot of fun; however, I feel it is quite ambitious to try and hold our attention for a full 90 minutes of drumming. Perhaps if it were a little shorter, it might have left more of a lasting impression on me? This isn’t to take away from the incredible individual and group performances by the Drummer Queens themselves. Each of the performers are great percussionists, however one in particular, for me, stole the show. Stef Furnari as ‘Rebel’ has a presence unlike the others and with over 10 years of professional drumming experience, it is easy to see why. Stef has even played drums for Ricky Martin during the NRL Grand Final! A notable mention to Peta Anderson as ‘Freedom’, who puts on a fantastic tap and drum mashup that almost had the audience on their feet!
Overall, Drummer Queens is a fun and exhilarating experience, but unfortunately, is not without its flaws. Nothing big, just little things that irked me. From some off timing spotlights to a drumbeat, seeing crew walk around side of stage because curtains were not drawn properly, and one performer continuously chewing gum the entire show. Indiscretions aside, this show is still worth seeing and is still very enjoyable for both audience and performers. Each of these fiercely talented women fed off each other’s energy and excitement to bring forth an exhilarating performance.
Drummer Queens is on at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre through until the 8th of May, 2021 with tickets available from Ticketmaster, I suggest you snap yourself up some before this show heads off to Brisbane.
For more information and ticketing, visit: https://www.drummerqueens.com
Photography by David Hooley.