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Lady Boys of Bangkok - Fantasy & Feathers Tour
Published on Sunday, 25 July 2010


Meadows Theatre Big Top (venue website)
7 - 8, 14 - 15, 21 - 22, 28 Aug, 4:30pm (6:15pm); 6 - 28 Aug, 7:00pm (8:45pm); 6 - 28 Aug, 9:15pm (11:00pm)

Back for their umptillionth year at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Lady Boys’ show is such a regular fixture that it’s strangely easy to overlook.  But each year, we bump into a few more people who’ve made it along to the Big Top on the Meadows for the very first time.  And each time, they tell us the same story – that it’s an amazing show, that it’s not what they expected… and that they wish they’d made the effort before.

Lady Boys Of Bangkok

In case you’ve been in a cave for the last decade, we’d better explain.  The Lady Boys of Bangkok are a troupe of glamorous showgirls, who (as their press release puts it) “just happen to be men”.  They dance, they shimmer, they change their clothes – and occasionally they change their gender at the same time.  Far from any image you have of a dodgy drag artist, the illusion is utterly convincing, and the on-stage transformation is genuinely astonishing to watch.

One thing they don’t do, however, is sing; most of the numbers are lip-synched to the original soundtrack, a discovery which at first disappoints but is soon forgotten.  This year, we’re promised “fantasy and feathers” from the sixteen-strong group – and if it’s anything like previous years, we can expect them to be funny and sexy but to stay the right side of the embarrassment line.

It’s not, of course, a place for utter shrinking violets – if you don’t enter into the spirit of the thing, you won’t get a huge amount from this show – and whatever your gender and orientation you may find yourself a little, well, confused.  But that’s all part of the mystery and marvel of this most distinctive of acts.  So, yes, they’re bound to be back again next year… but why not see them now?

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