Lawrence Chaney flew the flag for Scotland’s drag scene as one of the country’s first representatives on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. The star’s charisma and humour made her a fan favourite – not to mention a favourite of drag icon RuPaul – with Lawrence showcasing these attributes in their Edinburgh Fringe debut Lawrence Chaney: Overweight and Over It. The hour long set sees Lawrence showcase their charm and humour whilst delivering some positive affirmations about self-love and body positivity.
Lawrence takes to the stage in the city’s Sir Ian McKellen Theatre in Stockbridge to deliver a selection of lip-syncs, stand-up and comic reflections on life pre and post-Drag Race. The star delves into their life as a plus-size queen, whilst sharing a number of things that they are well and truly over.
Opening the show with a lip-sync to Lizzo’s Juice, Lawrence appears decked out in an Irn Bru can style dress. The star brings high energy to their lip-syncs and delivers a rousing start to the show. They later remark that the juice can costume was ordered before Lizzo recently made headlines. Lawrence delves back exploring the challenges growing up in Helensburgh and being told they were overweight by doctors as a child. Lawrence attaches their trademark charm and wit to these anecdotes, whilst also making some prescient points about the societal fixation with someone’s physicality.
The star delivers some amusing anecdotes exploring their dating life and their experience on Drag Race, with the series interrupted for seven months by the COVID pandemic. Lawrence channels their empowering message of self-love in an amusing segment sharing the things that they are over including musings on gyms, BMI, aeroplane seats, and fat-shaming. The food-centric references continue in a cuisine centred lip-sync which sees Lawrence pair a slideshow to songs such as The Pussycat Dolls’ Buttons, Dua Lipa’s Sweetest Pie, George Michael’s Careless Whisper, and Maroon 5’s Sugar (Natalia Gordienko’s Sugar was right there, Lawrence!).
A lip-sync number set to Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful turns into a high energy version of The Fast Food Rockers’ one-hit wonder, whilst Lawrence splices in clips from controversial cult TV show Fat Families, Little Britain and Celebrity Big Brother legend Tina Malone’s rants. It’s one of the highlights.
Overweight and Over It can feel repetitive in its focus on weight, diet and health, with Lawrence pushing the topics to their limits. Focussing slightly more on the Over It section might have given Lawrence scope to cover a greater breadth of subjects. An increase in audience interaction would also give the show a more spontaneous flavour – Lawrence’s few direct interactions with the crowd are a real showcase for their charm and quick-wittedness.
Lawrence Chaney: Overweight and Over It delivers a charming message of self-love and positivity well, but could impress further by expanding its comic scope.