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River Medway

7th November 2023

Interview & Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent

Photography: Tom Buck

From being on RuPaul's Drag Race UK to starring in the West End. River Medway is defiantly someone who has been working non stop since her debut on our TV screens. 

We chat to Medway about her new role as Ariel in the stage production of 'Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula The Sea Witch', what's she's been up to since Drag Race and we ask her if she would ever return to the work room!

Hello River! I am so honoured to have you here for ReVamp Magazine. We have a couple of mutual friends which are Vanity Milan and Ella Vaday! How has everything been since your season of Drag Race UK aired?

Hello Sweetie! Life has been pretty good I’m not gonna lie to you. I’ve had so many opportunities over the last 2 years and so grateful to still be working on new stuff all the time.

We’re here to chat about your role as Ariel in the stage production of Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula The Sea Witch! It’s about time Ursula gets to tell her story! How was it to get this role of Ariel? Because it’s a definitely a dream for a gay person to play the role of a Disney Princess like I would have loved to play Jasmine in Aladdin haha!

It’s all very exciting isn’t it. I had a few rounds of auditions earlier this summer then finally got the call from my agent telling me I got the job! I originally was up for another role in the show but after the first call I was asked to audition for Ariel. It’s been really nice to really have to work for this as a lot of jobs after Dragrace have been offered to me straight away. I’ve been going to lots of auditions this year for theatre jobs as it’s always been my passion so it’s great to be able to combine everything for this role. Of course it’s lovely to play a princess too!

Would you be making your own version of Ariel or have you been getting ideas from Jodi Benson and Halle Bailey?

This is definitely a new take on Ariel which I’m not sure everyone will be expecting. It’s a parody musical so there’s lots of curveballs which keeps it exciting. I like to think of it as Ariel through Ursula’s eyes and how she see’s her.

Can you tell us about your iconic Ariel look?

I don’t want to give too much away about the show but the costume design is absolutely breathtaking! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so beautiful

How different is this play to your recent work on Deathdrop?

The biggest difference is definitely the fact that this is a musical. We had a few songs in Deathdrop but this is an entirely different beast. The part of Ariel also wasn’t written as a ‘drag character’ so it’s really great that the creative team were so open different casting. There’s actually some similarities as I played a parody version of Julie Andrews in the Sound of Musical in DD and this is a parody version of Ariel. Clearly I’m good at parodying female ingénues!

You’re half Singaporean. Do you think we’re seeing enough East Asian lead roles in shows and films?

I think the landscape is definitely changing but there is always further we can go. Sometimes it’s not necessary the representation itself but what characters East Asian actors are playing. A lot of the time actors are only being cast in roles that are ethnicity specific roles (which is great that they’re being written) but there is definitely room for EA performers to be

Here’s a question for the Drag Race fans. If you had the opportunity to go back on Drag Race and compete would you do it again?

Never say never!

Lastly, have you got any messages for your ReVamp readers?

Thanks for all the support and we’re all super excited to see you at Unfortunate! You can catch us in London December-February then all over the UK in 2024.

Grab your tickets and take a dive to see River Medway as Ariel in 'Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula The Sea Witch' here.

Follow River!

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