A Surprisingly Decent Comedy Night || Drag Review #12
There is only one thing that a comedy night brought to the masses by Sister Fibrosis and Joy Less could be, and that thing is ridiculous.
And ridiculous it was, exceeding even my high expectations. ‘A Surprisingly Decent Comedy Night’ (hosted by Sister and Joy, featuring Indy Nile, Cynthia Seaward, and Glew) took place for the very first time last Thursday evening at Folklore in Hoxton. A slight ballache to get to, but completely worth it. Definitely surprisingly decent, definitely camp, definitely a wonderful lineup. The venue itself was so pretty - flowers and air con units galore, it looked a little like something straight out of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. If A Midsummer’s Night Dream starred Miss Piggy from Muppets Take Manhattan (Glew), and Slenderman (Cynthia).
Sister - dressed in blue velvet with an interesting hemline, and a blue glitter circle on her face to match - and Joy - in a black suit and ginger hair - are not only two of the funniest/campest queens in London, but also two of my personal favourites to get out and watch.
Their hosting style is unique in the best sense of the word, but they have that kind of chemistry on stage that is impossible to emulate and comes completely naturally. There’s a few queens in London I’ve seen that have a similar thing going on - Kitty and Ophelia, for one - but it’s not easy to bounce off of someone, and have it not be awkward. Even when you accidentally talk over each other. I think there was definitely some gin involved. I love both of them.
The night kicked off (after they’d pratted about on stage for a while - my notes literally say ‘lots of stupid hosting’) with Joy Less doing a parody of Vogue’s 73 Questions. Now, I have no idea whether or not she’d rehearsed her answers or just came up with them on the spot, but it was utterly camp and utterly ridiculous. Some of the answers made sense, some were just funny, and some were so beyond the valley of the insane that they made no sense - but somehow, still made sense. It was brilliant. She’s hilarious, and I am very glad that she didn’t quit drag forever after that week that she quit drag.
Sister performed in the second half of the show (I have a feeling she was last on? Maybe?), and boy was it worth waiting for. Taking to the stage to perform her ‘Big Bitch’ number, Sister had the entire audience in hysterics by the end of the first instruction on how to be a big bitch - something about using your cold hard stare, or something - and had them in tears (and by them I mean me) by the time the number had ended. It’s entirely ridiculous, and it’s really Sister’s acting skills that sell the number. There are not many queens who would ‘vibrate’ on stage, and that is why Sister is one of the best.
Indy Nile - who, by the way, has one of the best drag king names I have ever heard - was dressed in the best black suit with stars all over it that I have ever seen. After getting the mic stand lowered down to his height, which was entirely too funny in it’s own right (Joy is quite the tall lady), Indy launched into his burlesque TED Talk - complete with actual TED Talk t-shirt - number all about the incredible chat up lines people on dating apps have used. Well incredible in one way only. Incredible in that they are completely insane, and I think we’ve all encountered a chat up line very similar. Or, well, I haven’t, because I’m lonely. But most people have! It was hilarious down to the small details like having the lines printed on pieces of paper. Enjoyed every damned second.
Glew has popped up in these reviews time and time again, but she is just so good. I have never not enjoyed her performances, and she is also just a wonderful person who I am always glad to see. And there endeth the niceties, because that’s just too weird. Glew. In camp black blazer, white knee high socks, and curly blonde hair. That poor hair has been through so much recently, that I genuinely have no idea why it hasn’t yet rebelled. Although that depends on where you’re coming from, because you might think it has rebelled. Her first set took us through being a drama student, before Glew treated us to excerpts from her diary.
I love a diary stand-up comedy moment, and being Glew, it was utterly ridiculous and completely hilarious, and I was nearly crying. With a clever cliffhanger/segue moment at the end, Glew took to the stage in the second act to perform one of her newest and I would say best numbers - Girls Aloud ‘Can’t Speak French’, with added Glew trying her best to speak French. Including singing that classic Frere Jacques. I think I enjoy this number so much just because the whole way through I have this image of Glew sat alone, recording the French speaking bits to no-one. Camp.
And last, but by no means least - the longest woman I have ever had the pleasure of seeing on stage, Cynthia Seaward in sequinned dress and very tall hair. Her first piece in the first act introduced us all to her friends. She does keep them in a bag for life, which is quite questionable. It’s not even a Waitrose bag for life, which says a lot about how much she appreciates them. From a giraffe to a tiny dog(?), Cynthia took us through all of them and their personalities, and I for one felt like we all became a family in that moment. Her second number is one we will not linger on, because there are some things that should be kept to a dark nightclub. Or bar, as it actually was. All I will say is that she sang a delightful little ditty all about being kind to bottoms. With actions. You get the picture. She was hilarious.
I knew the night would be a good one. Quite frankly, Joy and Sister could have stood on stage together for the entire time just talking with/at/over each other and it would have been hilarious and I would have left happy. But I wasn’t prepared for quite how good it would be, and that I really should have worn mascara because I laughed most of it off. I hope more than anything it becomes a regular occurrence, and if it does - get out and see it. It’s a five minute walk from Hoxton Station, finishes early enough to get the last Underground trains, and it’s free entry. What more could you want? (Although, bring some cash for their tip jar. The poor bitches deserve at least that much.)