London Irish Centre – until 25 August. Reviewed by Sabrina Fancy
Ever wonder what attending a real life beauty pageant feels like? Enter the comedy based on a beauty pageant aptly called- Pageant.
This musical spoof is set in the US where 6 contestants compete for the chance to be crowned as ‘ Miss Glamouresse’ (A prominent cosmetics company).
Set in the US the contestants consists include Miss Deep South, Miss West Coast, Miss Great Plains, Miss Bible Belt, Miss Texas and Miss Industrial Northeast. The contestants embody the biggest clichés and stereotypes of the areas they represent, which can be quite amusing at times! However, many of the jokes are difficult to get, unless you are quite familiar with the cultures of the various US states.
What is different about Pageant is the fact that the entire cast is played by males, and very convincingly as well!
The smarmy host and contestants of the pageant play their role with gusto and songs pepper the show as it goes through the various traditional pageant rituals, starting with the talent portion.
This section showcased each contestant (one right after another) various talents. Some of the talents were rather bizarre as opposed to amusing, including an odd puppet show, a ventriloquist and a dated interpretative dance. It dragged on and would have been far more enjoyable had it been shorter or the contests were all on stage at the same time performing almost simultaneously.
This continues with evening gown portion where the costumes are brilliant and over the top and there is lots of glitter and glam and followed by the swimsuit along with their spokes model abilities.
There is a lot of audience participation, as members from the audience are selected as the ‘judges’ and has the final say on the winner. While I have never attended a pageant, the show made me feel that I was at a real one because of glamour!
The show picks up after the interval, especially with the physical fitness routine but sadly, it’s not enough to save this ageing production. While the concept of the show is a good one, it falls short- not due to the performances which were stellar- but by the actual material which was dated and felt a bit flat as there was not nearly enough bitchiness or drama that you would expect.