Review by: Tatum Stafford
Playing to a rowdy, near-sold-out crowd in Underbelly’s McEwan Hall on Monday night, Monet X Change took to the stage and delivered a hilarious, witty and heartfelt hour of comedy and incredible singing in her Edinburgh Fringe debut.
Throughout the show, the world-famous drag queen takes us through notable stories that have shared her life; namely, romantic experiences and moments where she wished she had spoken up and felt more confident to be herself.
We start with young Kevin, who is a proud member of the school choir and who falls into a secret arrangement with a schoolmate Riccardo. From here, we hear about Kevin’s entry into college, experiences with his opera voice teacher, and all the way up to the present, when Monet X Change was a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race and was subsequently invited to compete on two Drag Race All Stars seasons.
Monet is an effervescent storyteller, and every sentence she uttered was bursting with personality; and often accompanied with a sly wink to the audience. One thing I loved about this show is that it was more about the person, Kevin/Monet, than the drag queen and drag persona that stood before us. It was unlike a lot of other drag shows I have seen at previous Fringe festivals in this way; it was about Monet’s talent, charisma, and ability to lead the audience on a journey through her memories.
It’s teased throughout the show, but the moment Monet finally sings a mash-up of opera, Britney Spears, and ‘Dreamgirls’ at the end is well worth the wait. I only wish she had sung more throughout the show, as her voice is absolutely astounding live, and had the audience up on their feet by the end of the medley.
Another aspect I really loved about this show is its lighting – McEwan Hall is an absolutely gorgeous Fringe venue, complete with ornate ceilings and rows and rows of chairs, and the lighting on Monet was stunning and complemented her stunning one-piece black outfit beautifully. Segues throughout the story were also complemented by subtle lighting changes which made for a really seamless show with plenty of visual appeal.
Whether you’re a drag fan or a newbie, you’re bound to find something to love in this charming hour of comedy and music. Don’t miss out on a ticket, as it won’t be running for the entire festival and is well worth your time.