The Supreme Fabulettes: Viva La Drag
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
The Festival Theatre is a big stage to fill, but, with a cast of just seven, this show does a surpringingly good job, helped by the fact that four of the cast are the dazzling girl band the Supreme Fabulettes. With powerful voices, lewd dance routines, crazy wigs and costumes, they fill the space.
Portia De Fossee (Steven Cleverly), Vicki Vivacious (Aaron Johns), Vanilla Lush (Martijn Smit) and Silver Summers (Robert Houston) make up the super bitchy band. The show is built up of big numbers including several great mash-ups, but there is a loose plot running through it about the history of the group.
This also allows the group to range over the decades in their music. The big numbers are without doubt fabulous and fun, as are the solos. There's no lip-syncing; these drag queens can really sing and hit those notes. The choreography is fun too, a mix of old-fashioned girl bands with plenty of innuendo thrown in.
As great as they are at singing and dancing, the little bits of dialogue between numbers can seem a bit forced. For the most part, though, the talking is left to motormouth Sheila Simmonds (Richard Rhodes), the band's Aussie assistant.
This little lady clad in her pink trouser suit does a lot more than simply give the girls time to change into even bigger and more fabulous wigs. She really throws herself into the audience interaction, chucking sweeties and spraying her scent everywhere.
Simmonds isn't the only sideshow; there's also her daughter and one actual man, her daughter's stage hand boyfriend. This no doubt helps give the girls time to not only change but also get their energy back, hence the force they can put into all their numbers.
Silver Summers breakaway from the group is the main plot twist and gives Houston a chance to shine with several solo numbers.
The show works because the songs are well chosen and well adapted in places. They really get the audience singing, clapping, tapping their feet and dancing along. It is definitely a lot of silly, light-hearted fun.
The Festival Theatre was filled by the end with laughter, smiles and people up on their feet, dancing. It is difficult not to leave the show in a good mood. The tunes remain in your head for some time after, as do the glittering costumes on your retinas.
Reviewer: Seth Ewin