BRIGHTON FRINGE REVIEW: La Voix @Brighton Spiegeltent

La Voix’s ‘Red Hot Globe Trot’

Brighton Spiegeltent

Brighton Fringe

La Voix is a woman on a mission – To bring back the glamour! In this high octane  show, she took  us on a journey exposing, analysing and satirically delivering an evening of Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Shirley Bassey, Cher and many more! She delivered dazzlingly precise sound-alike performances along with laughter and the chance to be up close with La Voix herself. It was an evening of  divas & spontaneity.

With new ventures taking La V out there, in the arts festival circuit this was a new move, with some seriously tongue in cheek acknowledgments of the (same) old material. The house was packed full of fans, who knew what they wanted, and weren’t disappointed.  With a fan base of older gay men Brighton is a easy show to fill and folk were thrilled. There were more than a few local Drag legends sitting amongst the crowd and what bigger compliment is there than the Grand Dames of Drag sitting down to watch you shine.

La Voix does superbly funny, spot on, cruel and highly entertaining songs, impersonating famous torch singers from the gay word and a few others, I adored liked the way La V blends new songs with old voices and I suspect with some new characters, from a new crop of singers, her act would flourish. There’s no doubt this dame can sing!

Costumes, clowning, singing, songs all top notch, although you’d need to be over 40 and gay to know some of the singers, but with a few off the cuff lines La Voix is aware of this.  The crowd loves her regardless and I’ve always been a huge fan of an ability to engage, and motivate an audience leaving them (us) feeling we’ve been part of something, that we’ve done something, that something special had happened that night. It’s a massive strength of this act. Oddly enough other than a heavily ironic encore she chose not to train us up but on command the house rose to its feet for the last song. There’s not many performers who can make a British audience do exactly what they want, on command, La Voix impresses on this front.

There is no doubt that La Voix is a  superb entertainer and this shift from gay bar to arts festival/cabaret circuit is always a difficult one for a (drag) performer to do; to keep  your core audience you need to do the stuff they like, but to attract a new audience, you need new material, often relevant and topical.

I thought the constant butt of jokes being focused on lesbians and their sex life or hairiness a little tiresome and reflected more the development of this act in gay mostly male pubs and clubs than perhaps the heart of her humour, which is solidly about engagement and audience participation. (If i hadn’t been reviewing I’d have heckled about it). Again, (sigh) it’s transgender, not transsexual  and I suspect inserting the word ‘Mormon’ or ‘Dentist’ might work in those jokes (try it…) just as well at getting a laugh as constantly referring to ‘the transsexual’s’ etc’s to get a snort or laugh. Show a bit of respect when you’re in someones town Chris, ta.

The last time I saw La Voix in a  gay bar at midnight in Birmingham they were sensational, and I’m not a fan of drag, there was not a hint of puerile borderline misogynistic lesbian jokes, no transsexual sniggering, just pure, slightly threatening full-on manic entertainment, utterly entertaining on every level so I was surprised  by the content of some of the material last night. However dumping some jokes is as easy way to improve a show which otherwise shone with the glamour, exhaustive energy and full on charm that this performer throws out in megawatts when they are on stage.

With a touch more polish, La Voix can own these festival circuses and circuits, keeping the candid ‘Northern blunt charm’ and continue to impress, engage and most of all, entertain a mixed audience with their astonishing talent; a talent rooted in singing, physical comedy and that ever so slightly threatening megawatt charm turning and focusing on you..…

You go girl, we need inclusive, superb LGBT entertainers all we can, but leave the dodgy Dyke jokes behind, as Cher sings… you don’t need it anymore….

Full details of the show can be found here

For more information about La Voix’s tour dates, click here:

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