REVIEW: GALS ALOUD (Leicester Square) ★★★
A stones throw away from Soho, six queens have taken it upon themselves, along with director and producer Christopher D. Clegg (Tuckshop Management) to create ‘GALS ALOUD’ a show based around the popular noughties girl band: Girls Aloud.
The show consists of 6 (thats right 6, bare with) U.K established Drag Queens familiar to most. With these queens working the Soho and club scene, I was looking forward to seeing them come together on the one stage. The group showed some strong character work, especially Sarah played by Margo Marshall – which showed us the more substance driven side of the Girls Aloud member. Ironically, as one of the stronger dancers (you need to catch her live performances), Marshall was also a beat behind the other girls due to the ‘wasted’ state which was a pleasure to watch. However, this is drag, and I felt this could have been built upon throughout the show rather than staying ‘one note’ – I wanted more.
The show is certainly for an audience who know a fair bit about the girl band Girls Aloud (who doesn’t), as it showed an insight to their private lives and how they got their place in the band in the first place through the ITV talent show ‘Popstars’. This is where we meet JAVINE – the (6th) member that never made the final band 5. Javine played by Tayce had a difficult job establishing a role within the one hour performance, but I feel she did this well.
The night naturally consisted of various lip synced numbers which were broken up by fan favourite queen Ophelia Love playing Kimberly Walsh. Ophelia’s comedy payed off with her musical theatre heavy characterisation of Kimberly, often breaking into jazz hands at any given moment (down to Walshes West End appearances).
I have to mention ‘Herr’ as Nadine as I personally feel she stole the show with her solo number which was lip syncing to a song, broken up with verbatim audio of when Nadine lied about her age on Popstars (ITV). Herr embodied Nadine, which is a hard thing to do, but was consistent with Nadines hair holding mannerisms, which I immediately related to. As well as the near perfection lip sync of both song, and spoken audio.
As a show, it’s hard to know if the queens are trying to give us a drag act or a tribute act and I feel the creatives behind the show need to sway more toward focusing on one of these routes as it currently feels like it’s missing a final element. As a drag show, we were left wanting more gags, more foul play and lots more humor which I know these girls are capable of as I’ve seen them perform in their own shows elsewhere. I think this group have something really strong, but currently its in its early stages. I would recommend following all these queens and supporting the show as it is a good watch, albeit, a little rough around the edges.
As a huge Drag Race fan myself I was impressed that these girls didn’t rely on any reference to the show to gain laughs. Other than a death drop, there wasn’t a tongue pop or catch phrase to be heard.
Reviewed by Benjamin Martin
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