Crapping over their audience, but in a good way… kind of

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It can look pretty easy for a drag queen or tranny to get up and perform in a dingy nightclub where the semi-drunken crowds, music, smoke and mirrors (well, not so much smoke these days), erratic lighting and general information overload take the attention away from the occasional error in lip-synching. But it’s a hell of a lot more difficult when drag performers are positioned in a small tent in front of an intimate audience who can spot every nuance more closely.

That’s why kudos must go to Fringeworld entertainers Mandy & Ca Ca, who this week have been injecting some OTT dress-up shenanigans into a program otherwise heavily devoted to cabaret, burlesque and stand-up comedy – their show ‘Drags Aloud’ confined to one very small marquee.

Mandy (the tranny of the duo, ie: she has had an official sex change) and Ca Ca (the drag queen, but OMG how she pulls off the big Mama uncannily) had their intimate audience in hysterics for most of last Wednesday night’s performance – usually when they played up against one another and got into the thing we’re used to seeing such performers doing: bitching.

While Mandy would do better treating the show as less of a class in Gender Studies 101 and more of an entertainment event, she does come up trumps with some of the punchlines. For example, hearing her define the root-word ‘trans’ to mean ‘cross over’ a third time when telling a story about closet cross-dressing men did verge on annoying, but the ultimately joke that the ‘gender’ part of ‘transgender’ translates to ‘when the wife has left the house’ in speedier delivery hits just the note of quality stand-up.

Ca Ca, on the other hand, has no qualms in playing the giant kidder – self-deprecating and insulting to the audience in equal measure, which is always a sign of great comedy since it puts both entertainer and the entertained on the same platform (ie: we’re all up the shit sometimes, so let’s just have a laugh with it).

One of the highlights of the production was when three punters from the audience were pulled up on stage and asked to lip-synch and deliver raunchy movements to a sample from a heterosexual porn flick, which proved a well-executed example of impromptu audience participation.

For comic relief, this show was a fairly bright spot on the extensive Fringeworld program. Stick these two girls on a bigger stage, have the audience drink a little more, and you’d have one very hilarious night out.

‘Drags Aloud’ starring Mandy & Ca Ca is on at The Pleasure Garden in James Street Northbridge tonight, Saturday night and Sunday night, from 9.15pm. Tickets available through