Underbelly Festival, Southbank, London
This show closed on the 5th July.
S.Q.U.A.D GOALS is a campy, queer cabaret that calls for the LGBTQ+ community and beyond to embrace its identity and community.
Cazeleon, Seann Miley Moore and Gingzilla take us through an evening exploring empowerment and queer politics, with a series of lyrically adapted songs. We get the likes of TLC, Destiny’s child and the Sugababes, delivered in a musical theatre & pop style.
The trio consistently offer powerful vocals, each with individual flare. Gingzilla is refreshingly comical both in and out of her song moments, playing masc and femme with her diverse vocal rage throughout. Cazeleon drives the ship in the group numbers and absolutely nails her solos. Together the three smash their harmonies, there is no denying the trio sing well together.
S.Q.U.A.D GOALS aims to call out homophobia and promote equality, which is promising, but sometimes becomes diluted in the musical theatre genre. The guts of their message is perhaps watered down in favour of theatricalities. At times the point feels presented not felt.
A stand out moment comes from Sean Miley Moore at a piano, delivering an originally penned track. Beautifully stripped back, we hear his tremendous vocal agility and skill and importantly see his heart and vulnerability. A playful Lets have a KIKI lipsync was welcomed as was an adapted Powerpuff Girls moment complete with video animation.
The conversation and song choices in the piece felt obvious at times and I couldn’t help but want for a more radical element to layer the piece. Particularly considering the diversity of the three queer performers and the topics they address. However the production is still entertaining and flirtatious and definitely worth a watch.
The production comes through on its promise of being a celebration and an evening of queer cabaret. It’s overly camp, which I have to admit isn’t my preferred style of cabaret, but it doesn’t take away from the importance of the talented trio pushing the envelope with their combination of drag and gender non conformity. Three showgirls, all with pipes, addressing politics, whilst looking great – S.Q.U.A.D GOALS provides a fun and energetic show.
© Bj McNeill 2019