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Courtney Act’s Under The Covers at the Underbelly Festival

Courtney Act: Under The Covers
Courtney Act: Under The Covers

The international home-hopper and reality-tv sensation Courtney Act has returned to the UK for an encore session of her previous Edinburgh hit show, Under The Covers. Courtney Act is famously known as an entertaining cabaret diva plus a competitor on many hit reality shows such as; RuPaul’s Drag Race, Australia’s Dancing with the Stars and of course UK’s Celebrity Big Brother (which she won). The gender-fluid entertainer takes us through some musical numbers and stories about the many meaning of the phrase ‘under the covers’ in an extremely pleasant and satisfying hour.

Under The Covers parades famous musical covers by artists and their origins as well as discussing the things we in the bedroom – “sleep, be intimate and most importantly, eat!” as Courtney correctly put. She opens with “It’s Oh So Quiet” covered famously by Bjork but released in 1951 by Betty Hutton and before that was a German lullaby song.

As we delve deep ‘under the covers’ Courtney proves to be quite a stand-up comic. She has a great rapport with her audience and the parody numbers are right-on-the-nose! Courtney’s cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ became a hilariously informative number of her diet – “I’m Vegan”.

Courtney doesn’t fail to bring up male counterpart, Shane from time to time too – a version of themselves that was equally as known during the stint of Celebrity Big Brother – and a section in the show explaining self-identification and the ‘covers we put on ourselves’ is a highlight of the show. Eloquently and intellectually put by Courtney. A duet with themselves as Courtney and a video of Shane (a mash-up of Beyonce’s ‘If I Were A Boy’ and Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’) sums it up perfectly.

The show was a little rough around the edges but one would assume that given the busy year Courtney has had already – including touring her shows across the US and various other countries around the world, and just finished competing in Australia’s Dancing With The Stars (second place!) as well as competing to be the entrant to represent Australia in this year’s Eurovision, I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t know which country she was in.

Courtney holds the UK very close to her heart – and it shows. Courtney expresses the want to continue doing more here in the UK and we will continue to welcome her with open arms. Under The Covers is a great victory lap of a show, but also the promise that Courtney Act isn’t going anywhere for a while. Hooray!

4 stars

Review by Tomm Ingram

Courtney has been under the covers with many, but not usually in front of a live audience. It’s time to get tucked in with all your favourite songs that have been covered in one way or another by all your favourite artists. Lay back and enjoy the caress of those romantic satin sheets as she strips some songs down and flips others on their back to show you just how gender fluid and genre fluid a great song can be! The sweet dreams Courtney spins will leave you pillow fighting and pillow biting.

May 12-19, 2019
Underbelly Festival Southbank, London


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