A midnight cabaret featuring “the wildest acts from across the Fringe” is setting itself up for some pretty high standards. This year,
If you’re looking for a candy box of choices and some eye-popping moments that you will be sharing with mates in the bar for months to come, this is the show for you.
The night is essentially an opportunity for acts at the Fringe to provide a preview of their show to a willing audience; it’s not subtle, but if you enjoy what you see then at least you know where to go for more. On this particular Saturday night, the performances ranged from a thrillingly immersive one-man film noir with Butt Kapinsky to a cock fight (quite literally) courtesy of the team at Wank Bank. The line-up changes each night, but if it remains as spectacularly varied as I witnessed then you are guaranteed to find something that you enjoy.
Not all of the acts benefitted from the short time slot; I would have liked to see more from a stunningly hot dance sequence by the Sweatshop crew, whilst self-proclaimed Queen of Game Shows Margaret Thatcher (from the award-winning Matt Tedford) had little time for more than a quick singalong.
The lip sync battles and catwalk-offs as promised by the flyer are moments for willing volunteers to grab a slice of the action, so down your drink and get ready to sissy that walk. I must admit, I was under the impression that this would be part of a professional act, rather than another opportunity for the audience to get on the stage, but it definitely works and is entertaining either way.
Our host Gingzilla is magnificent sight to behold, a self-titled Glamonster strutting the stage in death-defying heels and sporting her iconic ginger beard. With raunchy song covers and shameless twerking, this is a queen who isn’t afraid to get dirty, and if you’re sitting in the aisle then you’re going to know about it. As a compere, however, the evening could have been made much slicker with more scripted material in between acts; I was hoping for more than a ‘hello’ and ‘who’s up next’ whilst using a giant pair of lips as a cheat sheet. A midnight crowd doesn’t need much encouragement to get going, but the aesthetic could have been retained as part of a more polished performance.
This is not exclusively a drag show: if you’re expecting glamorous catwalks and ‘oh-no-she-better-don’t’ battles then you had better keep looking. However, as with all variety shows, if you’re looking for a candy box of choices and some eye-popping moments that you will be sharing with mates in the bar for months to come, this is the show for you.