Artsbitching

By

Fraulein Sasha Selavie

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DIVA OF MASS DISTRACTION

©The Other Richard

By Jonathan Harvey and Pet Shop Boys

When was Billie Trix – the fictional Diva of Divine Degradation – first unleashed in public? Why, 9/11/01 of course, the purrfect date of birth for a one-woman assault on all known taste! How could I possibly forget? Furiously pumped by the blistering, raw nasal ecstasy of prime, Cordon Bleu coke, I had no idea that evening’s Closer to Heaven press night – Billie’s media premiere – would soon expose me to the sizzling incandescence of the then-unknown and uncrowned Queen of Cunt Rock!

Was I up for it? Oh Christ, yes – I’d just spent an outrageously erotic, Rocky Horror night with my then-partner, and utterly fucked from drugs, sexual excess and a huge plate of restorative pasta, I crashed comatose for hours. Bad move – I woke to 71 missed voice messages screeching World War Three was game on, was happening, the World Trade Centre and Pentagon both savaged by kamikaze terrorists.

An ultimate wake-up call? For sure – nothing grabs your attention faster than indiscriminate, random slaughter in globally-famous landmarks! Still, press nights wait for no-one – neither queen nor transdiva – so Billie Trix’s first, ferocious draft scorched our spectacularly heightened senses with a contact high worthy of Dietrich screwing Madonna!

Sure, public decorum cancelled the scheduled after-party, but not the impromptu shag-a-thon spontaneously erupting at the Shadow Lounge, all blatant public sex and delirium; Frankly, there’s nothing like terrorist death-threats to kick-start libidos and make Viagra instantly redundant!

So, can lightning strike twice? Never doubt it! Even in Closer To Heaven, Billie’s role screamed out for total exposure – the more warts, pudenda and used condoms the better – and, with Musik, authored by Jonathan Harvey and sound-tracked by the Pet Shop Boys, Billie finally has a solo showcase capable of killing her talent-free rivals on sight!

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Musik, authored by Jonathan Harvey and sound-tracked by the Pet Shop Boys, Billie finally has a solo showcase capable of killing her talent-free rivals on sight!

Billie’s back-story? Simple – she’s an every day, utterly amoral, drug-fucked hedonist, like all unrepentant media whores; hello Michael Jackson and my darling, Catholic Pope, allegedly shockingly high on snorted Saints’ ashes! But while lazy – and unimaginative – critics cite Marianne Faithfull as Billie’s role model par excellence, she’s arguably far closer in spirit to Wendy O.Williams, deranged frontwoman of hardcore punk band the Plasmatics. And Wendy’s finest, must-read media moment? Nothing less than attempting suicide trying to hammer a kitchen knife through her sternum!

Okay, maybe Billie’s not quite that extreme, but as played by the uber-Botticellian Frances Barber reprising her iconic role, Billie instantly electrifies every susceptible cock in sight! And an appropriate air of depravity is set by the Velvet Underground’s ‘Sister Ray’, fiercely chugging away pre-show in the auditorium. Pin-sharp perfect mood music, it’s a 17(!)-minute epic of smacked-up, tranny junkies projectile puking all over their appalled johns, as they come en masse in showers of rancid spunk!

Arguably, ‘Sister Ray’ is Billie’s signature song as much as Dietrich’s ‘Falling in Love Again’, and sets our expectations sky-high. We’re not disappointed; Heart-stoppingly offensive, Billie takes no prisoners, dead, alive or in between, like a glorious, fetish-culture Joan Rivers on Crystal Meth! And gay author Jonathan Harvey pulls no punches, ramping the Amy Winehouse Bible of Pure Excess to scarcely believable, Trailer Trash on Steroids tastelessness!

Structured as a flashback memoir of Billie’s fantastically view-worthy highs – and lows – the only downside of Musik, ironically, is the Pet Shop Boys’ dreary, pompous and hollow synth-pop, and the six, stunningly banal songs – absolute masterpieces of vacuity – that punctuate the show. Cringingly, Warhol’s feted by this lyrical messterpiece; ‘Soup…won’t let you droop’, after which my mind – and pen – refused to transcribe the subsequent drivel.

Still – thank my Holy, Bleeding Jesus – there’s still Barber’s ferociously meaty, dramatic attack to relish. Briefly, Billie name-checks the famous – and infamous – she’s shared genitalia, and, more interestingly, repartee with, from Jackson Pollack, Trump to Prince Harry, and it’s here the one-liners come thick, fast and awesomely offensive.

A word of warning; dump any snowflake bigotry – and faux-sensitivity – right NOW; Jonathan Harvey’s wit is brutally eloquent. So, are you firmly strapped in? Then we’ll take a ride on the All About Eve ghost-train…“Trump’s penis?’ Billie hisses, ‘it’s shaped like a walnut whip!”, and that Lou Reed compared her clitoris to a perfect, triple bass clef’.

On a roll now, she screams she’s “such a perfectionist – I produce at least ONE note a week!’. But occasionally, even Billie needs Autotune; ‘Your voice would sound this rough if you’d sucked as many lying cocks as I have!’. Still, she’s a model of sobriety – “I haven’t touched smack since my first rehearsal this morning!’ but even so, Billie simply can’t stand Madonna; ‘That plagiarising Bitch! She copies everything!’ Now. that insult takes ferocious balls, with Madge literally playing London’s Palladium just streets away!

More hot, feisty and fearless than tranny hookers shagging football thugs, Francis Barber’s Billie Trix is simply a revelation in Musik. Think Killing Eve’s Villanelle with added singing chops and utterly insouciant, jaded attitude, and you have diva Bille Trix, the absolute, Reigning Queen of killer, kitsch cabaret! So why waste time streaming porn or Game of Thrones? The real Dragon Queen – Billie Trix – is gloriously spreading her wings right now in Soho!

Book tickets now To March 1st. Leicester Square Theatre 0207-734-222.