In his second Edinburgh Festival Fringe preview, Paul T. Davies looks beyond the more queer forward plays and celebrates drag, cabaret and those shows not so easy to categorise!
Drag is huge at the moment, and with RuPaul’s Drag Race UK about to hit screens during the festival, there’s no chance that the genre is going away any time soon! Miss Hope Springs, comedy cabaret superstar, presents her “Ritz to the Pits” showbiz life at the piano; still in the sequins she fled the Pink Pelican Casino in 1972! She comes with a host of great reviews, and the show sounds laugh out loud hilarious, as she promises us a trip down “mammary lane”!
I’m a sucker for a good pun and Dragtime presents Cirque Du Slay certainly nails that! Kings, queens and in-betweens invite you to enter a tent of lip-sync; burlesque, comedy and general oddities, with a fabulous disclaimer of “May or may not contain actual circus skills!”
Joe Strickland is presenting Polly: A Drag Rebellion, in which Polly will put across her manifesto for ending the world’s problems by using drag and gig theatre. Strickland will incite a rebellion against everything that holds us back in life, including barriers other people put in front of us and our own inner saboteurs! Advice I need to hear sometimes!
Not all drag is male to female, and Daddy Drag by Leyla Josephine is an intriguing sounding show about dads, asking us to consider our complex relationships with our fathers, be they absent, present or just not very good Dads at all.
Away from the more “formal” convention of drag, there are some very interesting shows that come under the category of cabaret/alternative. Certainly filling this category is Contra, a solo cabaret written and performed by Laura Murphy. She described it to me as a, “Queer performative interrogation of social, personal & historical occupations of the female body, using aerial rope stand up, theatre & live art.” The images from the show look sensational, and it’s at Summerhall, which is hosting a huge amount of LGBTQ work this festival.
Gareth’s Gay Dating Disasters sounds like a show that will connect with a lot of audience members! A combined cabaret, comedy and bingo show, Gareth navigates the brave new world of online dating. Expect some late night flirting, and, apparently, you can even dump Gareth by text during the show! Includes the songs Delete The Apps and Back on the Apps.
There’s a lot of gender boundary pushing at the Fringe this year, so add to your list Andrea Spisto: Butch Princessa a surreal, immigrant, wonderland of character comedy, dance and Latin beats!
When the description of a show is, “look, it’s a fat homosexual with glitter glued to his beard”, I can’t help but be tempted by his honesty and charm! Bear Gltz: UnBEARable may be a stand up routine well worth catching!
As you’d expect, there are plenty of LGBTQ stand up comedians, including Andrew Sim: Am I Queer Enough?, Comedy Queers, A Gay and a Non Gay, which is described as interactive comedy, Jack Rooke, The Lol Word, MOTHER, and the excellent Suzi Ruffell, whose new show is titled Dance Like Everyone’s Watching.
This is, as usual, just the top of the iceberg and only what has caught my searching eye! Browse the full programme, because Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the place to dance as if everyone’s watching!