Gals Aloud || Drag Review #13
What can I say about Gals Aloud other than that I have never laughed so much during a show?
Actually, a lot. Buckle yourselves in, we’re going for a ride. And yes, at this point I probably do have a reputation for attending every show under the sun, but until I am thrown from the building and told not to darken their doors again, I will be there. Grinning like a maniac.
Anyway, Gals Aloud. We’re (royal we) combining Friday in Manchester and Tuesday in London and creating one giant mess. Let's do this.
Comprising Kitty Scott-Claus as Kimberly Walsh, Ophelia Love as Nicola Roberts, Margo Marshall as Sarah Harding, HERR as Nadine Coyle, and Cheryl Hole as Cheryl Cole (or, as it was on Tuesday night, Ophelia Love as Kimberly and Seriah Sis as Nicola), Gals Aloud is possibly the campest, most ridiculous, glitziest and glamourous-est show under the sun, and over into the next universe.
Imagine Girls Aloud, but only their most ridiculous moments, add some sequins, black bodysuits, and then size the girls up a little bit (or a lot), and you have Gals Aloud. It has everything you could ever ask for from a tribute to the best girl group in existence. Forget the Spice Girls, forget Little Mix, Girls Aloud had the best bops, and they’re all crammed into this however long it was (time flies when you’re having fun) experience.
The show combines classic Girls Aloud hits, like Sound of the Underground, Can’t Speak French, Love Machine, Biology, and many many more that I have forgotten, with top choreography and outfits. Well, I say top outfits. Ophelia ended up wearing Kitty’s finale dress for the Tuesday show and - there’s not much more that needs to be said here. But the show is so much more than drag queens lipsyncing to Girls Aloud tracks. The show is so much more than just a ‘concert experience’ or whatever. The show is funny.
The combination of the performances to the classic songs, and the moments where each girl gets her solo moment to highlight the most iconic part of that members life is what really makes this show stand out from anything else. We get to see Nadine’s infamous interview slip up, Sarah being Sarah, Nicola hating her life and reminding us that she barely got any lines, Kimbo’s venture onto the west end, Javine being a slag, and an amalgamation of all the things Cheryl has done over the years. It’s camp, over the top, takes the piss out of itself, and there is not a moment that isn’t referencing something. I howled, I cried, I screamed at moments. It’s top, top entertainment.
But of course, it’s the gals embodying the girls who really make the show what it is. Six of London’s best, taking to the stage to perform the moments we all know and love so well, there is truly nothing not to like. Their mannerisms in the group numbers, the moments when they get to shine in the spotlight - all of it is fabulous, and reminds me why I love these gals oh so much.
HERR as Nadine is the over the top, camp leading lady we always wanted. After all, she got the lines. Fitting, seeing as HERR is such a singer herself. HERR’s performance style is campery at it’s finest, and nothing shows that more than when she flings herself around the stage during her solo moments, with facial expressions that could be seen from Mars. It’s hilarious, and really brings Nadine in that interview to life. The highlight for me though was the Tuesday show, when she popped up through a secret hatch in the middle of the stage during one of the group numbers, and was promptly put back in her place by Ophelia.
Kitty, our musical theatre lady, does a great Kimbo, She’s just got that ‘mum’ look about her, but does look fabulous in a sequin frock. Her solo moment is my favourite out of all of them, just because I really enjoy seeing her tap dance in a Princess Fiona outfit. I’ve also seen the show so many times now that I almost know all the words, despite her bit being an original song depicting her life post Girls Aloud. I know. I should be ashamed. But I am not. It’s a wonderful moment, and shows what a star Kimberly really is.
Ophelia as Nicola looks great as a ginger. Especially when she pairs it with the orange jumper for Biology. The two shades of orange really bring out her eyes. All jokes aside, she does an incredible job, and brings the audience to the show for a touch of participation. No need to worry, it’s just an old sing along. And we all know how fun a good sing along is. Ophelia as Nicola’s accent is a personal highlight. She also did an amazing job on the Tuesday show, when she had to last minute step in to cover Kimberly, and had little interlude moments in between several of the acts. These, despite being last minute additions, were so funny that it elevated the show even higher. Ophelia as Kimberly, walking on to sing a musical theatre song, before being cut short and getting more and more disheartened. I nearly cry laughed. It was camp.
Cheryl as Cheryl. It couldn’t be any other way round. And when she lipsyncs to some of Cheryl’s top solo songs, like that one about a parachute and I really don’t know the others (does anyone?), you start to wonder whether or not Cheryl Hole should just take Cheryl Cole’s place. She does a fierce lipsync (Hole, not Cole), and can dance like nobody’s business. When the references to some of Cheryl’s slip ups are mixed into the track, including but not limited to that time Cheryl punched a toilet attendant, you will be laughing and cheering in the same breath.
And of course, blessed Margo as Sarah. She does an almost too convincing Sarah, quite honestly. Spending most of her time a) drinking and b) not getting the choreography right, Margo really shines in her solo moment where she gets to pull her dancing tricks out of her bag, and show why she is a force to be reckoned with in everything she does. I could genuinely watch her performing to ‘Rose’s Turn’ from Gypsy every day. Those legs kick high. She’s just so good, I genuinely have no words.
Tayce as Javine is nothing but fierce. That queen can lipsync like no-one’s business, and despite not being one of the gals she doesn’t fade into the background. Gals Aloud wouldn’t be Gals Aloud without the addition of Javine, and it adds another layer of hilarity to the show. Especially with the references to Javine’s life outside of not getting into Girls Aloud on Popstars: The Rivals, where the group got their start. Truly, it’s always a pleasure just to get to see Tayce perform, and slightly intimidating too.
And of course, a shout out to Seriah Sis who did Nicola on Tuesday at last minute (she also stepped in as Cheryl at Queer Lates, and was fab then). You would never know that she wasn’t a regular part of the cast, she turned out the choreography so well. And looked great in a ginger bob. She treated us to a lipsync performance of Nicola’s ‘Beat Of My Drum’, including some excellent dancing, and it was just camp. She was incredible.
Gals Aloud are back at the Spiegeltent in Leicester Square on January 5th, and you should be there. It’s the best show this side of the universe, it’s not very much money, and you’re guaranteed a good night out. And it’s early too. Home to bed. Keep an eye on their social medias too, linked below, because there’s plenty more to come from them in the new year. Warms the cockles of my heart that. I just fucking love this show and these gals, can you tell?