A man enters and, La Cage Aux Folles style, he sits at a mirror that isn’t there and paints his face in lurid make-up. He then launches into an inventive and entertaining hour of drag slapstick impersonations and sketches that justify Martin Kent’s billing as ‘The Master of Mime’.
Slipstick is much like the Mona Lisa; a beautiful enigma and it’s definitely a masterpiece.
It’s all very frantic and the quick-changes are sometimes as impressive as the energy on stage. Kent goes from a glittering circus barker clown to a half man/half woman routine in scant seconds. A ballet dancer with too many legs appears before the Mona Lisa shows just how fed up one can get with being photographed constantly. Some of the sketches are completely original and hilarious. We see a giant baby with a ludicrously long penis use a potty, a diva with a voice that could crack glass (in a bad way), and even a few group numbers through inventive use of puppetry.
The costumes are spectacular and the humour isn’t exactly high-brow but it’s a demented and delightful bit of anti-drag entertainment that has the audience roaring. One impersonation sees Kent onstage as Lucille Ball in her famous ‘Vitameatavegemin’ routine. It’s perfectly lip-synched and almost as funny as when the comedy legend performed it herself. One costume change sees Kent become a giant vagina and engage in some brilliant audience participation. It’s cheeky rather than raunchy but parents should be aware that it might not be suitable for the younger kids or anyone not so keen on a bit of light-hearted toilet humour.
Martin Kent has incredible enthusiasm onstage and knows how to carry each of these sketches forward. The momentum never lets up. Some of the skits are funnier than others and a couple are classic drag lip-synching with some physical comedy but that’s no bad thing. Kent is an exceptional performer and you can’t help being dragged along with his onstage silliness. Slipstick is much like the Mona Lisa; a beautiful enigma and it’s definitely a masterpiece.