‘Dead Bitches’ will have you in stitches

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Celebrities get their share of criticism and sarcasm when they’re alive, but usually, once they’ve passed on, the cynicism is reduced as we try to be more ‘nice’ about them, thinking about the good things they’ve done and the legacies they’ve left behind.

Not so drag cabaret drag icon Candice McQueen, aka: Spanky, who last weekend debuted his/her show ‘Dead Bitches’ at Perth’s Fringeworld – poking fun at just about every diva who has died and ‘moved on’.

The show is set on 21st December, 2012, a date close to the that of the end of the world as predicted by the Mayan calendar (or the date most westerners were fooled into believing – Mayans actually predicted a different date).

Suffice to say, Spanky, head nurse, is sitting alone in an empty hospital room, anxious about all this end-of-days palaver.
During this fit of angst, he/she is visited by four apocalyptic Dead Bitches, who hint at what is going to go down with the big moment comes. And this is where the laughs really kick in.

From Amy Winehouse to Princess Diana, Spanky pulls off the most uncanny of impersonations. When he’s behaving like a drug-fucked Winehouse, pottering around the stage, pretending to smoke his fags and pat his imaginary beehive, it really does seem like you are in the presence of the tragic rock singer. Then, when he puts on his posh Diana voice, but has her talking all gangster rap style, you’re left in awe at the absurdity of it all, laughing until your sides ache.

Throwing notorious celebrity news references into the mix, along with clever pop cultural critique, Spanky’s presentation of everything celebrity-related (ie: mostly superficial) leaves you wondering if aspirations of fame are actually worth it.

After all, we all die in the end, and if most of the memories of a notorious existence are mashed up and turned into one grand joke, what was the point of wanting to be celebrated in the first place?

Still, forget all the deep-and-meaningfuls and just go see this show while it’s still on at Fringe. It really will leave you in stitches. But don’t expect Nurse Spanky to heal that problem for you; she’s got a dozen dead divas to tend to right now.

‘Dead Bitches’ is on in The Pleasure Garden, James Street,
Northbridge, as part of Fringeworld, 9pm tonight and Tuesday night. Tickets are available at www.fringeworld.com.au.
Photo by by Alexis Desaulniers.