Review – Denim: The World Tour
The Soho Theatre
The Soho Theatre
Denim: The World Tour opens with a Lady Gaga number, immediately followed by a jab at how “progressive” that is, which lets the audience know the theme and tone of the rest of the evening, making room for subsequent subversive numbers, mixing pop, politics, religion, and queer culture, whilst not taking itself too seriously.
The show follows this drag queen group – Crystal, Aphrodite, Shirley, Glamrou, and Elektra – in their hilarious delusion of performing at Wembley in front of 80,000 adoring fans, in a combination of group and individual numbers, where various girlband clichés get acted out. From the acoustic number with over the top gesturing, to reading adoring fan mail; from statements about dreams and freedom, and shouts of “I love you Wembley”! In a way, it reminded me of my own dreams of being a pop star when I was younger, and I guess many people may be able to relate to that fantasy of being on a stage, singing and dancing, and receiving adoration from thousands of fans, which can make this show quite heart-warming, as well as fun and provocative.
Each drag personae has a very distinct style and message, with three standout solo performances by Crystal and Elektra, who delivered astounding vocals in their respective parodying solos of Beyoncé and Conchita Wurst, without ever toning down the emotive appeal of those two performers. Glamrou, as ‘the Muslim Iraqi immigrant queen living here in the UK’, illuminates the often-complicated relationship between queer culture and religion, reminding us of the dire lived experiences of many of our LGBTQ+ peers around the world.
A fun, heart-warming, and intelligent mix of pop and queer cultures, of old and current affairs, and of gender politics, the true strength of Denim: The World Tour, lies in its focus on comradery and mutual support of differences within the queer community, as stated in their original number where they sing about the denim way:
“We are, a sister and a brother
This time, we’ll be here for one another.”
On at The Soho Theatre until 3rd Feb. Book now.
©Ryan CV 2018