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24 November, 2019

Riotously entertaining, exceptionally funny, and above all, genuinely heartfelt

Over the course of an hour, Leather Lungs (LL) – the self-proclaimed ‘master of falsetto and stiletto’ – combines his unmatched vocal talents and wickedly naughty point of view to deliver a show that journeys through the glorious highs and lascivious lows of the queer experience.

I was positively inspired by LL’s impressive vocal prowess, especially given the fact that the show’s opening had been delayed due to its star’s chest infection nights earlier.

Blending the repertoire seamlessly to fit our star’s progression from closeted Catholic teen to international hornbag, LL belts out hilariously smutty renditions of 20th century queer anthems – from ‘Holding out for a Hero’ and ‘It’s Raining Men’ to ‘Proud Mary’ and of course, the show’s titular song – that had the audience dancing in the aisles and screaming from the stalls.

What was perhaps most captivating about this performance was the way in which the tone pendulated so dramatically between downright filth and disarming sincerity.

These tonal shifts take place so abruptly that it took this reviewer longer than he cares to admit to realise that LL wasn’t just committed to an elaborate ‘bit’.

With this shift came a powerful message, one that resonated throughout the audience — be kind.

Reiterating his message with a powerful, albeit unexpected, rendition of Farnsie’s classic ‘You’re the Voice’, the audience stormed the stage with an unprompted singalong that was clearly as moving an experience for LL as it was for the crowd.

It isn’t often a night of raunchy queer cabaret leaves you with a sense of community.

But it was this palpable sense of connection, above the draggy fashions, sex jokes and dildo choreography, that left the most profound impact.