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The Ladyboys of Bangkok: Carnival Queens Tour ★★★

#EdFringe #Cabaret

I'm not convinced there’s still a place for The Lady Boys of Bangkok. Surely we’ve moved beyond the time when we pay to see what is essentially a freakshow? Yes, it’s kind of glamorous (although with a hint of low-rate Vegas) and yes the costumes are fabulous but it all seems a bit strange. The only thing that justifies the existence of this show is that the performers may or may not be anatomically male.

After a wonderful opening the show begins to sag quickly - these showgirls, as well as not being girls, are definitely not dancers so, if you forget for a moment that they’re ladyboys (and you really could - many of the cast are stunning looking ladies), you just get a rather mediocre lip-synching dance show.

As well as the dancing there are a number of camp skits where the humour is as subtle as the sequins and feathers but they fell flat as far as I was concerned. However, the audience were lapping it up and each number, performed to all the pop hits you’d expect to hear receives rapturous applause and much murmuring of appreciation. The game of trying to work out if any of the cast are actually girls seems to be popular and several of the groups sitting around me are deeply engaged in this.

Definitely not my cup of (Thai) tea but if you go along with a large group of good mates, drink a couple of bottles of wine and embrace the camp glamour of it all, I think you could have a really good night out. Maybe I should have drank more.

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