It took little time for Assembly’s Spielgeltent Palais Du Variété to evolve into a glittering exhibition of luminous flair and seduction, teased out by one of Drag Race’s most revered names. Winner of both Season 5 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and Season 7 of Drag Race All Stars, Jinkx Monsoon’s Fringe debut does all but exceed expectations, showcasing a vocally-formidable act both pleasing to the eye and ripe with laughter.
A dazzling affair that serves to deliver the very best of what international drag has to offer.
Still Got It! features all of the hallmarks of a racy, chic drag routine, from brazen wit to debaucherously sexual innuendoes. Nonetheless, Monsoon’s visual material doesn’t resort to extreme shock value antics to garner laughs as some of her Drag Race peers have been guilty of in the past but carries a subversive sassiness throughout – raunchy, no question, but graceful when demanded of her, adhering to her musical theatre styled roots. Accompanying her on piano is the delightful and whimsical Major Scales, whose jovial pragmatism stands to keep Monsoon's vices in check. Indeed, some of the act’s best material resides in the hilarious love-hate relationship between Scales and Monsoon, where the musical prodigy acts as the Portlander’s moral compass, reprimanding the queen should she delve too deep into on-stage alcohol or drug-fuelled decadence.
The instrumental talents of Scales is matched only by the superb vocals of Monsoon who exhibits a diverse range, capable of hitting a strikingly low bass on the likes of the jazzy Just Me from her 2018 album The Ginger Snapped, to reaching a powerful mezzo-soprano on a classy rendition of Sondheim’s I Never Do Anything Twice. All this she does with a powerful stride around the stage in her ruby red sequin dress, magnified by a skilful audio and lighting team. Her interaction with her audience is playful yet commanding: she promotes healthy messages on self-acceptance, yet spares no hecklers from scorn should they attempt to steal her spotlight. And as for her Scottish accent, she’s nae bad at all, earning her the respect of the audience.
Whilst Monsoon’s act is inherently a cabaret she does not shy away from social commentary, sparing time for inter-number discussions on mental health, the difficulties faced by the transgender community and impending planetary destruction in light of global warming, concluding that planetary exodus is the only solution. Rather fittingly, Monsoon sees us off with a stunning rendition of Life On Mars to rapturous applause, concluding a dazzling affair that serves to deliver the very best of what international drag has to offer.