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Posts Tagged ‘drag’

It’s the highlight of Carnaval week in Puerto de la Cruz and last year it attracted more than 35,000 spectators.
It’s only 7.30pm. Registration of contestants isn’t scheduled to begin for another hour but already crowds are claiming their places along the route and against the barriers in Plaza Charco.

Tonight is double pleasure for us; not only are we here to watch the arrival and registration of the contestants in this surreal event, but its early start gives us the perfect excuse to eat at the Meson California guachinche in Plaza Charco.

The music strikes up and the beer barrels beside the stage are loaded, ready to oil the heels of contenders. Then it begins – a trickle at first but quickly gaining strength into a river of weird and fabulous costumes emerging from the crowds to be registered, have their heels measured for minimum height and be introduced to the audience.

It’s a process that takes in excess of two hours during which time the contestants imbibe copious amounts of alcohol, building nerve and diminishing co-ordination until heels morph into shifting mountains beneath their feet.

This year the costumes were a triumph with the Cinderella shoes and the chickens coming out top of my list.

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As usual, time was way ahead of schedule leaving us breathless in its wake.
Trying to herd visitors through the streets of Puerto de la Cruz on a Saturday night when there’s so much to see, was proving a difficult task. We’d been told that if we didn’t get to the Majestic before about 9.15pm we’d be hard pressed to get a seat and now a puppet show outside the church was threatening to keep us late.

We finally climbed down the steps into The Majestic at 9.35pm and made a bee line for an empty table slightly behind the mixing desk.
First thoughts on perusing the room were that we’d wandered into a Saga outing. Most of the tables were occupied by a mix of British ex-Pats and holidaymakers, most if not all of retirement age and beyond. I was beginning to wander if this might have been a mistake but I couldn’t see bingo cards anywhere and anyway, we’d already given our order to the ‘personality’ waiter who was mincing about the place like Alan Cumming on speed.

Nicely set up with our drinks in our comfy seats and an only slightly impaired view of the stage for me, the evening began with a short quiz to identify world airline logos and then it was time for the house lights to go down and the footlights to come on.
For the first half of the show Bitter and Twisted (John Sharples and Barry Pugh) took us on a simulated flight around the comedy world of airline attendants which included free peanuts for all (none of that no-frills nonsense on Majestic Airlines), several stunning costume changes and multi-lingual, word-perfect miming.

After the interval the regular Bitter and Twisted Show got into its routine with a level of professionalism and hilarity that has us all howling with laughter and wiping the tears from our eyes. Particularly memorable were the Miss America and Amy Winehouse sketches but the icing on the cake was the uproarious rendition of It Should Have Been Me which is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

In between shows there was banter with the audience, a raffle and a live rehearsal by John of a new song entitled Saturday Cowboys, a beautiful reminisce about a boy’s obsession with the movies before the age of video and the Internet. I was very tempted to go back the following night to see its inclusion in the show.

There’s no charge to get into the Majestic; drinks are amazingly good value; the atmosphere is friendly and fun, and Bitter & Twisted are quite simply fabulous.
We couldn’t believe it when we looked at the time and it was 1.30am. The entire evening had passed in a whirl of laughter, false eyelashes, sequins and wondering if the waiter would make it through the night without a visit to the Coronary Unit.
I can’t recommend it highly enough. Go!

The Majestic is on Calle Cardogan (off Calle Valoise) in Puerto de la Cruz and the Bitter and Twisted Show is on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights from 8pm.

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