The Tuck Shop brings the West End’s first-ever drag season to the Garrick Theatre this August with a deliciously varied assortment of nightlife wonderment. The first show of the season being Ginny Lemon and Friends. Star of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Ginny Lemon is known for her crass humour, bizarre songs and electric yellow wardrobe; all of which are on display in this one-night-only production. She’s joined by an off-the-wall mix of friends who are equally as mind-bending as she is. If you’re a fan of Ginny, then you’ll probably enjoy this eclectic, unhinged and chaotic evening of queer entertainment.
Ginny herself opens the show with a self-penned number. A strange mix of music video and performance art. It’s a sign of things to come, as she goes on to perform more of her own numbers throughout the show. A world-class lyricist Ginny is not, but she knows how to put on a show and work the crowd. She’s also joined by Some Little Cakes for some live guitar accompaniment, adding yet another layer of expression to this smorgasbord showcase. Ginny’s talents are displayed best when she dabbles in stand-up comedy; chatting with the audience and sharing jokes and witty one-liners. She exudes the same charisma and charm she did on Drag Race, only this time she doesn’t have to behave herself!
Fatt Butcher and Sharon Legrand bring some impressive vocals to the table. In the second act, and in a surprising turn of events, Fatt provides a tender moment of Queer celebration with a rendition of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, accompanied by a rousing speech of Queer unity. Sharon provided probably the most hilarious moment of the evening by launching her handbag into the audience. You could almost hear the stage crew and theatre staff panic when she asked it to be thrown back… and with good reason too, as it proceeded to hit a lady on its way back down from the dress circle! Nobody was hurt.
Midgette Bardot is without a doubt the most offensive member of the lineup. She brings to the stage the filthiest piece of spoken word I’ve ever heard… and I’ve seen five years worth of late-night entertainment at the Edinburgh Fringe! Midgette has a knack for deadpan humour, something which at times gets lost in the extremely graphic sexual descriptions of her storytelling. Although undeniably mesmerising, this section of the show will have as many people heading for the exit as it does rolling over with laughter. For an act that clearly aims to shock, I have no doubt she wears this as a badge of honour.
Yshee Black provides a welcome break from the evening’s depravity with two brilliant musical theatre lip-sync mixes. To say she brings energy seems like an understatement as she whirls around, “belting” for her life and leaving it all out on stage… including, as she points out herself, a lot of sweat. Her performance is more traditional and palatable than the other acts and she proves to be an endlessly likeable and dynamic presence throughout the show. When Yshee takes the stage you can be sure of some damn good entertainment.
A night with Ginny Lemon and Friends was for sure a memorable night out and the ambition of the Tuck Shop season leaves you with a lot to be excited about. Producer Christopher D Clegg shows no lack of ambition and creativity and we love to see it! There’s surely something for everyone in the next two week’s lineup and I would urge you to head over to the Garrick and check it out. One thing’s for sure… the Garrick’s never seen anything like it!
Review by Dan Reeves
A night of madness, music, mayhem, and more madness from Drag Race UK’s hilarious Ginny Lemon.
Tuesday 27 July, 7.30pm (Ginny Lemon and friends)
2 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0HH