The best cabaret shows are never the huge, fancy venue-d spaces, where you are lost in the crowd and viewing from afar. The best are in small, intimate spaces and this is what Pink Lotus Cabaret brought us with Hot Queer Magic.
Just like any cabaret show, the production showcases different acts, all introduced with a little comedy and little storytelling in between. And this is of no exception. This means that there is no tie to a theme and it feels right to keep us on our toes this way.
Hot Queer Cabaret features a fairy burlesque act, a rubber ducked obsessed dominatrix act, Drag Kings dancing while making commentary on the patriarchy, a trans King and his maracas and a combination of Indian Dance and Kylie, to name just a few. This eclectic mix is always a surprise and keeps the comedy and appreciation fresh each time.
While enjoyable and especially in such an intimate setting, the whole running felt a little lengthy and in need of some polishing. It felt as if there was a nervousness and it lead to the feeling that much, from the comparing to the acts, was a little created on the spot. Of course, things never go to plan, especially in cabaret but it all needed to be a little punchier. From my theatre training and my own cabaret training, it was instilled in me that making it punchy, prompt and polished, creates a much more finished product and keeps the audiences engaged and wanting more. Some of the acts felt quite long and sadly lost my attention at times. This could be entirely that with this instilled in me, that is my own subconscious reaction but at times, it felt that the whole production could be a little slicker.
Twatoo, the Drag King duo, were probably my favourite. Playing on toxic masculinity, they took Shania Twain and made the characters very camp. Interjected with voices from feminist icons in the shape of characters to real people, noting their achievements, followed by “that don’t impress me much” was endless comedy and poked fun at this type of chauvanism and our society.
It was also great to see Pink Lotus and her combination of traditional Indian dance with burlesque. This combination was something I had never seen and, with a little more honing, is a really unique and beautiful concept.
Hot Queer Magic was fun, full of diverse acts and people and was a fun evening. With practice and time, I’m sure this collective will create a very confident and smooth running show.