★★★★★ | Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales: UnwrappedCREDIT: Nate Watters
I have to confess that I had mixed emotions at the prospect of seeing Jinkx Monsoon (Seattle’s youngest M.I.L.F. and the victorious underdog from Season 5), and Major Scales at the Soho Theatre. Firstly, I’m a huge fanboy of Jinkx. Who doesn’t love a narcoleptic Jewish drag queen? Secondly, though, I don’t like Christmas and this is a Christmas show. When I say I don’t like Christmas I mean in a pathological, itchy toothed, nails scraping into my palms kind of way. Whilst Jinkx is my favourite queen of all time from RuPaul’s Drag Race the prospect of a Christmas-themed show in November made me feel vaguely psychotic and almost had me reaching for the brandy bottle.
I really needn’t have worried. Major Scales describes this as a show holiday show for those exhausted by the holidays. There’s not a trace of Mariah Carey and no fake bonhomie. Instead Major takes on the role of pro-Christmas advocate whilst Jinkx drily drawls about how rubbish it actually can be. Especially for an unconventional queer Jewish drag artiste.
They cover subjects such as what gifts to give to give to queer children, why singing a song about seducing a fat old man is just plain weird (Santa Baby) and how to spend time with your right wing Trump/Brexit loving relatives. There are some witty covers of Bowie, a Del Ray and Miley Cyrus as well as a clever reworking of a Kander and Ebb number. Predominantly, they sing their own compositions with Jinkx showcasing her fabulous singing voice. She not only looks good and has impeccable comic timing but she’s a cracking singer and can belt out a tune with panache. Her persona is waspish and bitchy but not in a terrifying way. There’s an underlying inner kitten that is hiding under the bitchy exterior. Whilst the show is slick and professional it still has a dark and anarchic edge to it that is endearing.
Major Scales is not only a great writing talent and ‘straight man’ to Jinkx’s distinctly kinked woman but is also a fine pianist and singer too. This is a duo that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re hiding in a bunker till January to avoid all the tawdry fuss or are already humming Christmas tunes under your breath and decking a tree with glittery things, this is an endearing and funny show. Get down to the Soho Theatre for an intimate experience with one of America’s hottest drag queens.
Run at the Soho Theatre until 10th December 2016
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Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.