Kaye dazzles, a heady combination of eyelashes and rhinestones, a force to be reckoned with as he greets each of his guests on the way in and on the way out of his show. This is a beautifully personal touch largely lost in the edFest by anyone not requiring to hold a coin bucket outside their venue, and the sentiment is not lost on the guests. As this self confessed ‘oestrogen rocket’ explodes on stage with a horse tail mic and 8 inch platform heels, he immediately sets the scene for what will be a sexually voracious introspection of the world according to Kaye.
A sexually voracious introspection of the world according to Kaye.
Kaye’s formidable vocals, quick fire acerbic one liners and self indulgent social commentary oozes with sexual energy, and behind the gags Kaye has a depth of character which elevates this performance from yet another drag cabaret show. The juxtaposition of raw masculine sexual energy entwined with Kaye’s oft comedic, sometimes political presence creates a space in which the narrative of gender privilege is rewritten. Kaye very deliberately alludes to his space being a place where heterosexual white men are the minority, and this is how we challenge the patriarchy - standing up like this and talking about consent and difference and alternative viewpoints.
The themes of Kaye’s show are many - power ballads about sailor boys, costume malfunctions, passive aggressive lighting changes, art references and expertly woven audience interaction, Kaye fabulously delivers his material somewhat like Julian Clary without a filter. The tempo changes throughout, and the audience laps it up. From cheering and jeering along to his rendition of a Kate Bush song, moments later the audience are silently transfixed as Kaye narrates the story of the homophobic attack which birthed this beauty of a star.
The structure of the show is non existent, and when Kaye declares 40 minutes in that he’s yet to commence his show, we believe him. The audience can forgive the whopping 15 minutes overtime - who wouldn’t want an extra 15 minutes with this bastion of the night? However it does indicate a haphazard quality to the material, which doesn’t seem to follow any coherent thread. Tightening this up will surely elevate Kaye’s performance to a 5 star.