Help! I Think I Might Be Fabulous

It shouldn’t take long for you to notice that despite his name, Alfie Ordinary is as far from the boy next door as you’re likely to get. There he stands at the beginning of this one-man show: dazzlingly sequined from head (platinum bowl-cut) to toe (sparkling shoes). Yet the unique strength of Help! I Think I Might Be Fabulous is the sense of community it fosters. By the end, Alfie remains as fabulous as ever, but now we the audience are too. We have sung, swayed, laughed and empathised together. Something has shifted. The world around us looks, even temporarily, like a more fabulous place to be.

One for anyone who’s ever felt as small as a tiny sequin on Aretha Franklin’s biggest dress

The son of a drag queen, Alfie is a drag prince – albeit one with a shameful passion for football. As a young boy, he attends Madame LeCoq's Preparatory School For Fabulous Boys, an institution where individuality and flamboyance are nurtured and celebrated. Despite the fact this school begins each week with a rousing rendition of ‘I Am What I Am’, Alfie’s schoolmate John can’t help but feel the pressure of growing up fabulous in a heteronormative world.

Alfie takes it upon himself to guide John through the tribulations of growing up with familial pressure, a homophobic society, and internalised shame. Threaded throughout the narrative are reminders of the artifice at work here; in an especially sobering moment, a voice-over informs us that Alfie is a figment of John’s imagination, as nobody that fabulous could exist in our current world. It’s an intrusion, but one that bolsters the piece as a whole. Fantasies are necessary tools in a hostile world and the show is stronger for acknowledging it. And, of course, Alfie does exist, at least in the magical space created by the show and maintained by us as an audience.

All this, and I haven’t even mentioned the thrilling cameos from Whitney Houston and Bette Midler, the hilariously-convoluted analogy made between the offside rule and shoe-shopping, or the many songs Alfie sings to us from his keyboard, somehow managing to breathe life into over-familiar pop songs from The Village People and Sugababes.

The show is a subtle call to arms to be as individual, kind and curious as the performer on stage – and to hopefully look as good as he does in the process. One for anyone who’s ever felt ‘as small as a tiny sequin on Aretha Franklin’s biggest dress’ and wanted to feel that little bit bigger.

Reviews by Catherine O'Sullivan

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The Blurb

Alfie Ordinary debuted his first ever full length solo show to a sold-out Marlborough Theatre audience as part of Brighton Fringe 2016, and subsequently won the International Touring Bursary in a unanimous decision from The Pebble Trust. He has since toured the show around the UK and Europe and last summer performed it on the legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern stage. “Side-splittingly funny, extraordinary and of course, fabulous” (Brighton Argus Review). In 'Help! I Think I Might Be Fabulous' Alfie challenges the norm and questions what it really means to be a man in a hilarious and heart warming tale that explores pride, shame and masculinity. In a society where boys are told to wear trousers and girls are told to wear skirts, Alfie teaches how to come to terms with being Fabulous. The show sees Alfie, the son-of-a-drag queen, discussing his time at Madame LeCoq's Preparatory School For Fabulous Boys, specifically his friendship with Jon. Alfie helps Jon through song and puppetry, challenging the norm, questioning what it really means to be a man, and encouraging Jon to be himself with the help of Whitney Houston and Bette Middler. Exploring pride, shame and masculinity.