REVIEW: Prom Kween (Underbelly Cowgate) ★★★★★
Prom Kween is a musical inspired by Matthew, the first boy to win the title of Prom Queen at his school, written by award winning musical comedy writer, Rebecca Humphries.
The show centres on the battle between Matthew and the glamorous Lexi for the title of Prom Queen. Taking references from American High Schools in the movies, this show brings the familiar characters of the jocks, the mean girls, the nerds and the kids that just don’t fit in and throws in a whole heap of glitter, a drag queen narrator and a soundtrack of singalong feel-good disco hits. In the process, it shines a light on the contradictions of modern day America where the President wants to build a wall to keep out the Mexicans and the highest rated reality TV show is Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
The role of Matthew is played by four actors who switch between playing the lead, his teachers and fellow students. Casting male and female actors to play Matthew serves to underline the issue of gender fluidity in the show. William Donaldson, channelling Ru Paul, is fabulous as the narrator, moving the action along in the short hour available to tell the tale.
A production that initially seems to be a flimsy show full of sparkles and sequins turns out to have some serious points to make; a barrel of energy and laughs and a celebration of otherness and acceptance.
Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans