Denim: World Tour
Reviewed – 11th January 2018
“There is no set … but with the amazing costumes and big personalities a set really isn’t needed”
Denim: World Tour, featuring “the drag supergroup with a unique brand of explosive pop,” is an utter delight. At its core, Denim is a fun drag show but it also has a serious message. Think socially conscious gender-bending Spice Girls for the modern age. The premise of the show is that Denim are performing at Wembley arena as part of their world tour. The five drag queens are supported by a band, featuring a guitar, keyboard, and drums, who are donned in black t-shirts emblazoned with “Denim World Tour” in pink. The show is a series of solo and ensemble pop covers with reworked lyrics. There is a vague storyline running through the show, which I don’t want to give away, but it isn’t the focus, which is fine because the queens, the music, and the message are what this show is really about.
The five Denims all have distinctive looks and personalities. Leading the troupe is the hilarious Glamrou (Amrou Al-Kadhi) who sings an amazing song about Islam and queerness. There’s Crystal (Tom Rasmussen) the sex-goddess drag queen with a glitter beard. Then we have Aphrodite Greene (Charlie Parham), a hot popstar, who believes that mums deserve to have a little fun too. Elektra Cute (Guy Woolf) is the punk rock anarchist of the group who reminds us that “gender is a construct.” Last, but certainly not least is Shirley (Hugh Wild) who describes herself as the “sweet and simple kind,” though we eventually learn that she might not be as sweet and innocent as she says. All the Denims are exceptional performers but Crystal’s falsetto is the star of the show. When Crystal hits those high notes the audience understandably goes nuts. The troupe are able to create strong harmonies, and the parts where they sing in unison are some of the most enjoyable moments of the show.
The band is tight and the sound fills the space upstairs at the Soho theatre. The song choices are excellent (all fun pop hits) and the changes made to the lyrics and arrangements are funny and tongue in cheek. A personal favourite of mine is a satirical radio one live lounge style cover.
There is no set, just the band at the back of the stage, but with the amazing costumes and big personalities a set really isn’t needed. The lighting is spectacular and plays on the idea that we are ‘supposed’ to be at Wembley area. The Denims certainly know how to use a strobe light to their advantage.
With tickets starting at just £8 this show is great value for money. My advice? Get your tickets now before the Denims make it big and you’ll have to shell out to actually see them at Wembley.
Reviewed by Caterina Incisa
Denim: World Tour
Soho Theatre until 3rd February