Article Title:Review: Confessions of a Drag Queen
Author or Credit:Sam Shore
Published on:28th January 2011 - 12:28 pm
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Story ID:9850
Text:Ricky Beirao's charming, sometimes funny stories are delivered through an awkward patchwork of scenes, seeming to shy away from what potentially could have been a much meatier production, in favour of a cheap laugh. The plots shaky, the acting's shaky, but what does hold this piece together is its willingness to poke fun, laugh and unashamedly shimmy us from one scene to the next. Many of the scenes feel unnecessary. Whether being corralled by a Zumba instructor, screamed at by an irate shoes sales woman, or confided in by a catholic mother in the throes of unearthing her son's sexuality, these characters never really seem to inform or drive the central plot, nor are they delivered in precise enough manner to become distinguishable. Ricky Beirao's performance is brave, but messy. There is talent, and when he stops to genuinely connect with his audience the performer blossoms, but these moments are few and far between. His vitality depends on its ability to smoothly move from one convention to the next, and for the audience to genuinely endear themselves to the central character of Ricky/Rhubarb Rouge. Hayley Sproull and Sophie Kendrick are excellent. Moving fluidly between characters they weave ridiculousness about them like webbing. These girls are the backbone of the production, holding everything up around them on a comedic tenure. Even if their dancing begins to lag due to the fact they are only out to cover a very long costume change, we forgive them, as its fun. Special mention should be given to Hayley Sproull's wonderful if brief portrayal of an unenthusiastic coffee attendant. If this production is going to survive it needs tightening up in every aspect, and strong direction to help find a better hold on the theatrical language it loosely manages to grasp. Sadly Confessions of a Drag Queen feels like a missed opportunity. At roughly seventy five-minutes, the charm palls, the scenes become confounded and the interludes between, drag; and not in the fabulous way. Our new theatre reviewer Sam Shore is a critically acclaimed playwright who also keeps things running smoothly at Rainbow Youth. Sam Shore - 28th January 2011    
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