EdFringe 2023 Review: Victoria Scone: Jam Packed ★★★

With a little more fine-tuning, preparation, and polishing of the material, Victoria Scone: Jam Packed will find its feet.

Hot off her success as part of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and Canada’s Drag Race vs. The World, Victoria Scone leads a limited run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with her feature show Victoria Scone: Jam Packed. Joined by drag king LoUis CYfer, Victoria brings an anarchic mix of song, sketch and live comedy to the Gilded Balloon’s Debating Hall.

LoUis CYfer and Victoria Scone were once an inseparable double act, but when the call from RuPaul came, Victoria turns her back on LoUis. The drag king is left trying to make a living working in a supermarket whilst Victoria Scone tastes the sweet delights of fame. This one-time partnership and friendship, is now a bitter dynamic – can LoUis and Victoria get things back on track?

Presenting a mix of cabaret numbers, audience interaction, and sketches, LoUis opens the show. The character from LJ Parkinson, is gruff, crude, and scruffy, and quickly familiarises themself with the audience through some interaction questioning about where people are sitting and who knows who. In terms of the interaction, highlighting people sitting alone leaves a little bit of a bad taste – the performers should be thankful for any ticket sold. An overlong clip of LoUis scanning phallic shaped foods precedes the drag king’s introduction.

Victoria Scone soon arrives with the star sharing her impressive vocal chops as she joins LoUis on stage. The pair bounce off each other well, even if there is a real familiarity in the narrative angle of a double act in crisis. Delving into a mix of impressively performed musical numbers including a spin-on The Book of Mormon’s Mostly Me, LoUis and Victoria deliver a mostly effective slice of cabaret silliness.

Not all the jokes land and Jam Packed can feel like its repeating the same narrative territory in the ups and downs of LoUis and Victoria’s friendship. There’s also the sense of a lack of confidence in the material – a version of Always On My Mind feels peculiarly unrehearsed, whilst it’s not quite clear what is expected from the audience interaction. Is Victoria meant to be the villain?

With a little more fine-tuning, preparation and polishing of the material, Victoria Scone: Jam Packed will find its feet.

Victoria Scone: Jam Packed’s run is now finished, but tickets to other Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows are available here.

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