THOROUGHLY MODERN MAN: Dick! Leicester Square Theatre

Full of appropriate (and inappropriate) references to “current affairs’ (Daily Mail gossip) and, rather curiously, Clare from Steps, “Dick!” gets you into the Christmas spirit in a similar way that bellowing the expletive lyrics to The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” does.  The Leicester Square Theatre is playing host to this salacious romp until January 20 2013 .  You may find that such an intimate space is slightly unsuitable for the no-holds-barred toilet humour, however, avoid the front row and you are guaranteed a night of relentless laughter and open-mouthed disbelief at the unapologetic crudity.  On the other hand, if you really want in on the action, make sure you get there early and nab one of those front row seats.

Writer and Director Stuart Saint has done a great job with this comically talented cast, and there is even a vague plotline that can be followed – an achievement for any pantomime performance in my opinion!  Stand-out performances come from Lucyelle Cliffe as Queen Runt, the compulsory villain and Gary Albert Hughes as the eponymous ‘Dick!’.  Cliffe does not hesitate in hamming up the panto factor, getting the audience fully involved with booing and hissing, and her singing is also of a high standard, especially in the midst of some ‘diva-offs’ with ‘Fairy Bell-End’ (Laura Hyde).  Hughes equally submits himself fully to the circus that is this production, keeping the punters constantly entertained with his persistent innuendo and strong vocal performance.  I must also give a special mention to Rae Brogan as Alice who kept me constantly entertained with her white-girl, London gangster ‘swagger’.

The riotous humour is such that the cast struggled to keep it together at times, but I can forgive this at such an early stage in production and if anything it made the audience feel all the more part of the spectacle.

London’s number one Adult Panto plays at the Leicester Square Theatre until Sunday 20 January.  If you are looking for a good festive night out, I suggest you book tickets here.

Written by a Thoroughly Modern Man, Mark McCloskey.

Leave it on the Floor Film Premiere, Leicester Square Theatre

On a damp, Olympic fuelled Wednesday night a select group of Londoners gathered at the Leicester Square Theatre for the premiere of Leave it on the Floor, a vivacious, colourful musical set around the LA Ball scene. It is an intimate affair with an eccentric, elite crowd of men, women and elaborately dressed drag queens. Creeping through the bedazzled and bejewelled troupe, I felt very underdressed, normal and bland!

Theatrical legend Simon Callow introduced director Sheldon Larry who enthusiastically announced his prized cinematic work. This original musical takes its inspiration from the documentary Paris is Burning. Leave it on the Floor concerns a group of outcast gay, transvestite and transsexual men strutting their stuff in assorted fashions as they compete on the catwalk before a panel of judges. The film documents the trials and troubles of handsome lead Brad, who finds himself a new family at the House of Imminence after being kicked out of home by his bullying mother. We watch as the romance and drama unfold in a musical which manages to be strangely touching.

It is a poignant and memorable narrative and as the film develops, I was amazed to discover how affecting and touching the musical manages to be. Surprisingly even my macho guest admitted to enjoying this unconventional film. The cast are confident and convincing and work together in a collaborative team; stars Ephraim Sykes, Andre Myers and Phillip Evelyn are particularly impressive. The rest of the audience seemed equally engaged, watching fascinated while adjusting their wigs and stockings. The girls toilet queue was an equally shocking show of costume and flirtation as ladies and “ladies” both lined up waiting their turn for a cubicle! I was reminded of my favourite West End musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert as I admired the extravagant and intricate clothes and immaculate make-up… it put me to shame in my hideously casual boyish attire.

After the viewing guests were treated to a magnificent show from the Supreme Fabulettes and the most hardcore of visitors then went on to continue celebrating at Madame Jojos round the corner.

Leave it on the Floor was on at the Leicester Square Theatre.