Drag sensation Danny Beard makes their Edinburgh Fringe debut with solo show Danny Beard and Their Band which takes up residence in the Underbelly in George Square Gardens. Accompanied by a five piece band, Danny delves into a variety of crowd pleasing live musical numbers, some wickedly sharp audience interaction, and delivers a welcome message of escapist positivity. This is rocket-fuelled high energy cabaret with a charmingly chaotic vibe with Danny presiding as our loveable, trouble-making ringmaster.
Joining their band, who have been kitted out in sequin-clad cowboy gear, Danny emerges in a fitting black dress, with a striking black wig, and oversized faux fur coat. The Drag Race UK winner is a vision in monochrome as they descend onto the red curtain draped stage delivering a soulful rendition of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. Danny can SING and the star quickly charms the audience with their take on the British pop classic, with impeccable backing from the band’s drums, keyboard, guitars, and backing vocals.
Danny delves between spirited cabaret numbers, intercutting some acerbic audience interaction. Finding out the sexual orientation of the audience – Danny amusingly pokes fun at the diverse crowd before launching into a tribute to the ‘hetties’ of the audience giving them a ramshackle rendition of Little Mermaid number Poor Unfortunate Souls. Danny is at their most amusing when bouncing of the audience, with an interaction with a young man in the front row filling the Underbelly venue with some big laughs as he becomes something of a personal assistant to the drag talent.
Cabaret numbers are well chosen and instantly known to the audience, with Danny encouraging the party vibes of their Fringe show from the onset. A mash-up of Dolly Parton’s Jolene and Britney’s …Baby One More Time showcases Danny’s sparky musical versatility whilst keeping energy levels high. Danny mingling through the crowd of eye-contact avoiding audience members provides an amusing segue into the star’s cool take on Estelle’s American Boy in which Danny feeds off the audience’s energy.
Closing the set on a trio of crowd-pleasing favourites including ABBA’s Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight) and Madonna’s Like a Prayer, the Underbelly hub turns into a pulsating Monday night party, with Danny taking the night to a joyous euphoric crescendo in its final moments. The star embeds a positive message of love into the set – a genuine, sincere thankfulness to the audience and message of support and joy to the queer community, whilst providing a endearing night of pop escapism. This may be a little scrappy at points, but Danny’s bolshy charm utilises this well with the star putting a self-deprecating slant on any imperfections.
Danny Beard and Their Band deliver a dynamic night of powerhouse cabaret classics, sharp humour with bite, and joyously positive vibes. Danny is a charismatic force of nature and you are in for a treat if you come along for the ride.
Danny Beard and Their Band runs until Friday 25th August. Get tickets here.