Venue: Assembly Roxy
With so many drag shows to see at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Yummy attempts to deliver more bang for our buck with its blend of dance, circus and music from six slick performers. Yummy is polished, slick and well produced, but it lacks a sense of wonder and genuine fun.
Valerie Hex, Jandruze, Zelia Rose, Hannie Helsden, Benjamin ‘Bendy Ben’ Hancock and MC Karen From Finance make up the cast of Australian cabaret cavalcade Yummy. Opening with an entertaining group lip-sync number, the show then highlights the various talents of its cast – dipping into hula hooping, lip-syncing and burlesque.
This ensemble piece is followed with a burlesque number from Zelia Rose which pays tribute to various genres of the silver screen, Yummy gets off to a strong start with Rose being quite an absorbing performer. This is followed by a latex-clad Benjamin Hancock who struts around the stage in huge heels before making an unsuspecting audience member into the filling in her giant foam sandwich. It’s amusing, albeit incredibly odd.
A lip-sync number which combines childhood sweetness with screamo/grunge music from Valerie Hex feels like a miss with the gag wearing off by the half-way point. Hannie Heldsen gets things back on track with a staggeringly impressive hula hooping routine, yet she feels misplaced in an unusual ice-cream skit and a tiresome ‘Lips’ reveal lip-sync with Jandruze. Our MC gets a small-skit with an audience number who she dubs ‘Rachel from Finance’ which leads to a lip-sync to ABBA’s Money Money Money merged with Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money. The audience interaction is entertaining, but there isn’t enough of it here. An overlong and not particularly inspired lip-sync to Vanessa Carlton’s A Million Miles precedes this. Karen’s act is an odd one, neither crude, camp or played-straight enough to genuinely amuse.
The cast of Yummy are undeniable talented yet this vehicle does not feel like the optimum showcase for these. These are slick routines and there is an odd subversive quality to some of the acts, but Yummy is a disjointed experience that fails to genuinely connect.