Jinkx Monsoon, winner of season 5 of America’s reality TV competition ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, returns to Contact Theatre in Manchester for an outrageous night of bawdy singing and dancing. Jinkx is fantastically quick witted and terrifies her audience with a no holds barred approach to audience participation. Jinkx wanders the crowd, sitting on knees and interrogating the poor fools on the front row who are quickly wishing they had bought a less interactive seat. One particularly unfortunate accountant called Steven finds himself straddled on stage with Jinkx’s fingers shoved ungraciously in his embarrassed mouth. She is ready for every retort and heckle and shoots shade in every direction; the speed and quality Jinkx’s improvised content is simply outstanding. The show is sheer shameless entertainment from beginning to end and will leave even the most conservative audience member in stitches before the night is out.
Jinkx’s new character, Kitty Witless, is a stalwart feminist and the salacious wife of the dapper Dr Don Van Dandy (Major Scales) composer and performer extraordinaire. Between them the pair hilariously reinvent modern pop songs in 1920s vaudeville style, or rather in the form they were originally written. The show tells the tragic story of this 1920s musical duo who, whilst on a cocaine fuelled tour in Antarctica, are suddenly frozen alive. Fortunately, due to global warming, the pair has recently thawed only to discover that all their original songs have been stolen and refashioned as trashy contemporary pop. Little did we know that ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ is actually about the invention of the electric iron, ‘Toxic’ is an ode to Marie Curie and ‘…Baby One More Time’ is really a ditty about domestic abuse. If the show is nothing else, tells Jinkx mockingly to the audience, “it’s believable.”Jinkx is a gorgeous yet formidable anachronism with a seemingly limitless supply of self-confidence that leaves most men shrinking in their seats. It is most refreshing to watch a performer so effortlessly tackle the complex intricacies of drag self parody, which so often miss the mark, and still come across as both hilarious and utterly loveable. The show is fabulously conceited and wholly absurd but at times strikingly poignant. It is a raucous cabaret from the very start and you’ll most likely leave asking, “what the hell was that?” But I can guarantee you’ll want to come back. - Oscar Lister