For those of you familiar with the Underbelly Festival you’ll know that when it comes to cabaret their programming and curation for the Spiegeltent have been superb. The last few years have boasted world-class variety, drag and burlesque performances and this year is no exception with Yummy: Iconic.
This 60-minute show is a tour-de-force of culturally relevant, sparkling and glittertastic cabaret performed by a troupe of artists at the top of their art form: Bendy Ben, Jarred Dewey, Jandruze, Karlee Misis, Valerie Hex and Velma Vouloir.
Our ‘hostess with the mostess’ is emcee Valerie Hex. Valerie, adorned in the most spectacular costumes, takes us on a journey to become a “little more gayer” through their unique style of drag waves, finger clicking and audience interaction. In all honesty, anyone who can stand on stage dressed as a tooth, a sexy tooth at that! deserves respect!
Over the last 25-plus years, I’ve experienced a lot of drag shows, and one of the things I love about British drag is the live singing. This show, being Australian, has lip sync rather than live singing! Usually, this bothers me. However, the soundtrack that accompanies this show and the performance levels, and the storytelling behind the songs mean that I really didn’t care who was singing, lip sync or live – each section of the show was hugely enjoyable and crammed with meaning. These performers put RuPaul’s drag racers to shame with their moves and storytelling.
As an audience member, you can expect body positivity aplenty, there is magic, burlesque, contemporary dance, fire dancing, balletic and ariel circus performance, some carebears (yes you read that correctly), audience participation, voyeuristic massage, pole dancing in the highest of heels and even a lesson in sandwich making!
The soundtrack is an eclectic mix of upbeat, dance tracks from artists including Madison Rose (the title track ICONIC! ) Kylie, Britney, Sia, Detroit Grand Pubahs, Scissor Sisters and Prince. Both myself and my plus one left hoping that the soundtrack was available to download after the show, if it’s not please can you curate one for Spotify? Pretty please…
Each performance turn could easily stand up on its own, however, when watching the show in its entirety we get to experience Yummy’s special style of cultural subversion, commentary on celebrity and 21st-century living. You leave the show wanting to put on some glitter and go dancing, which we did!
So much fun, I could easily go back and experience this all over again, yasss queen!
Review by Faye Stockley
Award magnets YUMMY are back in London due to popular demand! With a wild new show that celebrates and subverts cultural icons, legends, and superstars, YUMMY ICONIC is drag variety at its very best. With breathtaking burlesque, sensational circus, and outrageous drag acts, YUMMY has changed the world of drag cabaret and cemented its place in Australian performance history. From its humble beginnings as a club night in Melbourne to now being loved and adored internationally, YUMMY has won hearts and minds around the globe. Expect a powerful ensemble, side-splitting comedy, and out-of-this-world costumes. They can’t wait to bring their unique brand of salacious variety back to the main stage, but get in quickly as YUMMY are only in town for a limited time only.
Underbelly Festival Cavendish Square, London
Booking to 31st July 2022