EdFringe 2018 Review: Denim: The Reunion Tour

Denim: The Reunion Tour
Rating: ★★

Venue: Assembly George Square Gardens

With so many pristine drag acts to catch at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival we are undoubtedly spoiled for choice. However, one act that is most certainly worth your time is Denim: The Reunion Tour, a raucous mix of high energy musical numbers, comic performance and absurdist humour. This is a show brimming with an infectious energy and performed with an admirable sense of passion from five captivating Queens.

Glamrou (Amrou Al-Kadhi), Aphrodite (Charlie Parham), Crystal (Tom Rasmussen), Elektra (Guy Woolf ) and Shirley (Hugh Wyld) are part of the world’s former biggest girlbands, Denim. Denim: The Reunion Tour marks their return to touring as a five-piece after all pursuing very different paths in their solo career. The show is comprised of a number of group performances and individual appearances from each of the Queens.

Opening with a soaring performance of Loreen’s Eurovision hit Euphoria, Denim: The Reunion Tour gets off to a thrilling high energy start thanks to the slickly performed group number. Immediately we’re struck by the fact these girls can sing with some strong harmonies and vocal ranges to showcase this. This energy level is generally present in most of the group numbers, which are a real strength of the show.

Elektra opens the first solo set in which she shows two arms covered in wristband as a showcase for her humanitarian work. But tonight is not about her as she reminds us repeatedly as she welcomes close friend (and a game audience member) onto the stage as a representative for Save the Mongoose. Key to the success of the skit, Elektra plays it seriously, delivering a humorous deconstruction of celebrity culture.

This is followed by Crystal and Aphrodite’s reading from their bestselling joint autobiography. Crystal has killer vocal chops as shown throughout the show, but here particularly when she duets with Aphrodite on a Cats inspired musical theatre number. Aphrodite captivates delivering lines like a rock star and vocals to match. Shirley’s solo segment sees us welcomed to her cult of the Beehive (as she sports as several tier high beehive hairstyle) and allows us to be indoctrinated as Shirlologists. A hilarious baptism sequence follows – paired with amusing audience interaction. Glamrou’s solo segment follows – her humour does the incredible job of being obscene, intelligent and hilarious simultaneously Glamrou makes some cutting observations about Islam and queerness and is fearless in her willingness to go places most performers would not. Aphrodite’s solo rendition of Summertime Sadness is poignant and beautifully delivered, whilst Crystal gets an emotional soul-bearing number to bring the solo slots to a close.

The brilliance of the cast of Denim: The Reunion Tour is that they know how to work the audience as seen by their thumping rendition of This Is Me, their original number Denim, and a medley iconic pop hits (featuring Best of My Love, Tatu’s All the Things She Said, Bananarama’s Venus, and more). These girls are also multi-talented performers equally adapt to singing, dancing, comedy, and improvisational audience interaction, and Denim: The Reunion Tour is an undeniable treat because of it.
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