Venue (): Spiegeltent, St Andrews Square
Dates: Dec 16,17
Reviewed by Zander Bruce
Brace yourself. This is Christmas down the k-hole, darling.
It’s a festive variety show for the freaks, the femmes, the fatties, the queers, the misfits and undesirables. This is that Christmas you just had friends round, necked the peach schnapps and set fire to that girl’s party hat while she was wearing it at the dinner table (in my defence, she was quite annoying).
This is in your face, messy, slapdash camp old nonsense. Conversely it’s also a celebration of different body shapes, gender and effeminacy as well as a jab at the pretention of the arts. The lines blur delightfully between comedy, drag, performance, art and cabaret.
Scottee as performer and compere is both caustic and demanding (ok, hes a playful cunt) but he always manages to bring the audience in on the joke. He’s engaging and bold, we’re very much in his world and he’s willing to share, so long as we all know who’s in charge.
He’s brought along some great talent for the ride. Ginger Johnson, the Geordie Trixie Mattel, is filthy and fun with a holefelt ode to a mahoganific national treasure. Dickie Beau has razor-sharp timing with his lip-synched monologue from the most erudite of our tragic stately homos.
Rounding off the troupe of weirdos are our star turns in the making – Jayde Adams, whose droll delivery and “rapport” with Scottee make her a joy to watch (she’s not bad to listen to either), as well as Jess Love, who with her pained effervescent expression, contorts her physique and extorts much applause as she works her ropes and hoops.
Our ringmaster for this camp circus weaves it all together and stuffs over an hour of class(less) cabaret tighter than his Primark spanx. The fact that he does so unapologetically in his socks just adds to the unpolished charm.
You can go and enjoy this solely as frivolity and escapism, or admire and appreciate the levels of counter-normativity inherent within the framework. If the latter appeals, search online for Scottee’s Lost Lecture “I’ve been radicalised!”. Hes also a major contributor to the documentary Dressed As A Girl, about the East London drag scene, released this month on DVD.
Cabaret the way I like it. Challenging, immersive and deranged.