Jackie “Jack” Collins (Derren Nesbitt) an aging Brighton drag queen is given a matter of weeks to live in this humorous and touching tale of alienation, fatherhood and family. Jackie, already an established and well-loved queen is ushered in to show new queen, Faith (Jordan Stephens) the ropes.
Brighton-born director, Jamie Patterson shines a light on the people beneath the makeup. Jackie, one of the clubs main attractions, takes Faith under his wing as they struggle to find their feet; after being disowned by their family Faith has had to seek family elsewhere. Faith identifies as non-binary and Jack as a cis straight male, identity and gender is touched upon initially but doesn’t dominate the narrative. The film’s focus moves towards ideas surrounding family and friendship rather than using identity as its sole subject matter.
We see the worlds of classic and contemporary drag merge under one roof as they begin to discover that there are commonalities between them. Jackie reveals his painful past to Faith, his late wife’s embarrassment at his lifestyle and his subsequent estrangement from his daughter, mirroring Faith’s similar familial traumas. They are able to seek solace in one another as Jackie takes on a paternal role in Faith’s life, giving them a parental figure that has been lacking and in turn, Faith gives Jack another chance at fatherhood and support through the last remaining weeks of his life.
Faith and Jackie, almost serendipitously, have found each other at exactly the right time. With the rising popularity in television drag culture, audiences may be surprised by what they find in Patterson’s heart-warming story. Despite the title, tucking, synching, padding and general drag aesthetics and pop culture references are stripped back to leave a very authentic and earnest tale of two people searching for a connection.
Issues surrounding gender politics and the fact that Jack is straight could have been explored a little further, adding more meat to the narrative, however both Nesbitt and Stephens’ performances make up for a script that is slightly lacking. A more substantial narrative could have seen Tucked appeal to a wider audience, with both leads being able to reach their full potential.