Rob Madge - credit Mark Senior.

My Son’s a Queer, (But what can you do?) at Ambassadors Theatre

There is a great amount of self-awareness and a deep sense of togetherness that makes My Son’s a Queer as enjoyable and heartwarming as it is. Robert Madge provides us with the entertaining recreation of their childhood Disney Parade. The main source material is childhood home videos of Robert, and George Reeves’ wonderful work under video direction is evident. Madge guides the audience through his original performance of the parade and how he plans on improving it. Through this, they reveal the significant meaning behind items such as a yellow Disney princess dress, which provides an insight into the role both acting and imaginative dressing-up played in their life. It feels comforting and almost familial to look back at home videos of a young kid who’s standing grown up right in front of you. This made me feel right at home and comfortable for the entirety of the show.

Rob Madge - credit Mark Senior.
Rob Madge – credit Mark Senior.

Throughout, Madge performs catchy songs, written by Pippa Cleary, and changes into multiple fabulous costumes, that are a big step up from his childhood assortment. They are also on a small stage that represents a colorful welcoming living room. Ryan Dawson Laight did a lovely job recreating Madge’s childhood costumes, as well as furthering the right-at-home feeling within the set design.

Madge is hilarious with perfectly timed commentary on themselves as a child throughout the home videos and stories about their childhood journey with the Disney parade and performance. This also includes effective pop-culture references like one referring to the hit show Fleabag. Along with the comedic storytelling, Madge shows the bullying that’s a reality for almost all queer children. This is sad for sure, and I caught myself crying, but the environment within the theatre is comforting enough that I could sense many people felt ok with displaying the full range of emotions Madge provided. I felt unashamed in my tears empathizing with the young child I’d seen videos of all evening, and I was still laughing at times through the tears. The show ends on a happy note, which left me feeling optimistic and light while leaving. I think that is something really special, and it is so incredible that everyone behind My Son’s a Queer was able to create such a beautiful show that will leave you with such lingering joy.

5 Stars

Review by Elisabeth Beer

When Rob was 12, they attempted to stage a full-blown Disney parade in their house for their grandma. As Rob donned a wig and played Mary Poppins, Ariel, Mickey Mouse and Belle, their dad doubled as Stage Manager, Sound Technician and Goofy.

Unfortunately, Dad missed all his cues and pushed all the floats in the wrong direction. Mum mistook Aladdin for Ursula. The costumes went awry. Ariel’s bubble gun didn’t even work properly. Grandma had a nice time though.

Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills present
Written and performed by ROB MADGE

Directed by Luke Sheppard (& Juliet, In the Heights); Songs by Pippa Cleary (The Great British Bake Off Musical, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Age 13 ¾); Set and costume design by Ryan Dawson Laight; Video design by George Reeve; Lighting design by Jai Morjaria; Sound design by Tingying Dong; Orchestrations by Simon Nathan

25 January – 18 March 2023
Ambassador’s Theatre
West Street, London WC2H 9ND

My Son’s A Queer, (But What Can You Do?) at Ambassadors Theatre

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