Entertaining but filthy drag cabaret with a political message

cabaret review | Read in About 2 minutes
31270 large
Published 12 Aug 2017

A parade of the raunchiest and filthiest of drag artists might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But host Pollyfilla, the personification of mess and chaos, collects an impressive lineup of mostly bearded, torn panties-wearing queens for this late night show nonetheless.

All of them play with perceptions of gender and try to shock by leaving little to the imagination when it comes to the exact location of their genitals. They show butt cracks and pull bloodied items out of imaginary vaginas. More interestingly, all of them have political messages. The prime minister features an awful lot, as does Nicola Sturgeon. Sometimes it gets a bit too predictable: the Tories are bad, Corbyn is good. And some London-based artists still don’t know what to make of the call for Scottish independence. But hey, we’re in Scotland so it has to be mentioned.

Over the course of just of a few minutes, drag artist The Night Bus effortlessly challenges Trump’s hypocrisy, Islamophobia and radicalisation, while fiercly lipsyncing and wooing the crowds. It’s performers like these who make a trip to Pollyanna worth while. Because, frankly, the execution of the cabaret could be improved upon: the show starts too late (“We’re on drag time!”) and what was announced as one-minute break between acts last 20 minutes. Some people walk out, but the majority of the crowd doesn’t mind it that much: they’re here to drink with their friends and be entertained. Once the show gets going, Pollyanna certainly succeeds in that.