Boy In a Dress

What happened in this hour long show is still not quite clear; there was singing, nudity, drag, and a large cupboard to be sure. An erratic story was also present, performed by its writer La JohnJoseph, and apparently detailing some sort of semi-autobiography. Erratic is certainly the best way to describe the show, as it rapidly flipped between capturing the imagination of its audience and them checking their watches.

Credit must be given where credit is due; the piece certainly managed to raise some interesting points and questions about gender identity, leaving the audience to dwell on how much our society takes assumptions about being male or female for granted. Yet at times the show seemed to enjoy its pulpit too much and what was intended to be a prompt for internal debate instead stepped over the line into preaching and lecturing.

Its chosen venue of The Stand is somewhat misleading; though there are a fair few remarks of both a witty and crass nature, it is not truly a comedy. Musical numbers are interspersed throughout the show and it is these that usually capture back the audience’s attention as the singing quality is relatively high, though their length is occasionally self-indulgent.

Boy in a Dress is an ultimately insightful if slightly jarring show, with a high opinion of its message and a firm intent to deliver. It just about manages to use brief nudity for more than a cheap shock and certainly leaves its audience pondering the questions it wanted them to think about.

Reviews by James Beagon

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The Blurb

Transdrogynous fallen Catholic, council estate queen and former catwalk model La JohnJoseph's raucously political and accidentally profound retrospectacle combines autobiography, vaudeville, song, striptease and postmodern philosophy in an exhilarating collage exploring gender, class, religion and identity.