Drag-Opticon (4 stars)

Drag-Opticon

credit: Galactic Carnival

Superb drag cabaret show tackles big themes

Mother of all tuckers, Alana Duvey presents a show which isn't afraid to speak to modern issues, while retaining a glamorous, tongue-in-many-cheeks aesthetic. She's a warm and welcoming hostess, equally at home with dirty bedtime stories as lip-syncing. Drag-Opticon feels like a welcome riposte to the safe and bland drag that's been assimilated into mainstream media.

CarrieAnn Crow's burlesque is a witty mash-up of Peaches and 50s pin-up poses. Her bump 'n' grind routine feels filthy but fresh, an intoxicating homage to drag past and present, as well as a nod to queer club culture. Meanwhile, shapeshifting artist Dharma Geddon has a glorious singing voice, but her dystopian survivalist routine is where she excels, with a rainbow flag deployed like an updated version of the vaudeville butterfly dance.

Rujazzle's sex-doll becoming sentient is a pointed interrogation of life-sized dolls being consumed by frustrated businessmen. Both her physicality and ideas are mesmerising, and the samples of film and TV brilliantly satirise how pervasive pornography and consumerism has become. Also impressive is Lacy Rain's parody of vintage cartoon sex offender Pepé Le Pew and his hapless victim Penelope Pussycat, with this problematic character given a swift kick to his sense of entitlement. Rain's slinky dancing, prowling and spraying her 'scent' over the audience is spiky drag for the #MeToo era, where consent is both sexy and necessary.

Britannia Panopticon, Glasgow, Fri 7 Feb and monthly.

Drag-Opticon

A cavalcade of drag queens covering a broad range of genres and talents. Previous performance pieces have included lipsyncing, live singing, stand up comedy, ballet, burlesque, poetry/spoken word, theatrical pieces and even saw playing. Expect the unexpected.

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