The Glamorous Amorous show has given me the sudden, irrepressible need to buy a Vegas Show Girl’s outfit and wear it all times. Enter the Sabai Pavillion and enjoy one night in Bangkok. The show is pure escapism; the costumes are amazing, the makeup is immaculate and the performers are gorgeous.
The show is a mixture of cabaret and comedy; it’s definitely not one to bring your Nan to, unless she has a particularly filthy sense of humour! High-energy numbers like Nikki Minaj, J-Lo and Cheryl Cole help recreate some of that Friday night in G.A.Y feeling. However one of the most memorable performances is a poignant rendition of My Way. For me, the covers of songs work better than the original material created for the show, mainly as you have to listen carefully to the words to fully appreciate all the jokes. The Ladyboys version of Girls Aloud’s The Promise was one of my favourite pieces, followed by a tail-feather shaking, Vegas style showstopper to Pitbull’s Give Me Everything. There was also plenty of Blackpool-style cheese, like Is This the Way to Amarillo and a send up of the Full Monty.
The stand out performer is Ole, whose lip curls and tongue flicks deserve a show of their own. She performs songs that would make a navvy blush, and is the one to come and pluck unsuspecting men from the audience. Another excellent member of the show is Jacqueline, who is a natural born performer. She is 2000 MTV Awards Britney Spears, whereas some of the other dancers were slightly more 2007 Britney. Also, much to Ru Paul’s dismay, the priority for these performers is not lip-synching for their lives. The Ladyboys of Bangkok’s shows are more about the overall spectacle, the incredible production and costumes. It’s also designed to get the audience to marvel at the outstanding beauty and femininity of the performers. I don’t think many of the girls are trained dancers or singers, and after all, it’s hard enough to lip-synch in your own language, let alone if you’re Thai!
Underneath all the pizazz and theatricality, the show, to me, is a celebration of gay culture. From the tributes to the big haired icons like Cher and Tina in the disco section, to the Ladyboys themselves, it is a reminder of how far the gay rights movement has come.
It’s of course not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s rather crude and rude in some places. A lot of the laughs are based on stereotypes and so it would probably not be wise to bring a particularly P.C friend to. Your sexual persuasion isn’t an indication of whether or not you’d enjoy it either. It was me all over, but then I am camper than a row of tents. If the idea of audience participation makes you break out in nervous sweats, it might not be for you. However, everyone’s very supportive and claps along, and it’s the ones who refuse to go up who end up looking sillier. If you want a raucous night out, go on a Friday and Saturday, whereas if you don’t want to join in with the performers, go on a Sunday or during the week.
The LadyBoys of Bangkok 2013
Glamorous Amorous Tour
The Sabai Pavilion, M.U.F.C, Car Park N.2, Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, M16 0RA.
Fri 21st June – Sat 6th July 2013
By Annie Warren