Crystal Rasmussen presents The Bible 2 Live! Underbelly - Cowgate * * * * *
Tom and Crystal tell you a story about how a boy from Lancaster, who was called names, ridiculed and pelted with oranges, and a divine and outrageously promiscuous diva (James Franco fans will need smelling salts) who was raised by wolves outside turn-of-the-century Moscow, found each other and, in the end saved each other, with a little help from Madonna.
This is the most affirmative, queer-positive show you will see and it does it with club anthems, a light-up storybook and a fabulous queen with a heart as huge and beautiful as her voice.
Until 25 August
Ginger-Johnson's Happy Place, Pleasance Dome * * * *
Hard, certainly, to think of another show that combines handmade fuzzy puppets and Disney parodies with crying in public and fixating on mortality – let alone one that sensitively mines those things for singalongs and laughs. As a drag act, Johnson is boisterous and loveable, all curves and quick comebacks.
The show, we discover, locates us in her happy place – the zone she retreats to when the world, with its rising precarity, violence and sea levels, gets too much – and we get to join her for a little retreat.
What follows is a kind of multimedia variety hour of larks on the brink of the abyss, taking in selections from a grotesque mailbag, hilariously animated exchanges with obnoxious men and avalanches of meaningless trophies.
In many ways, this isn’t an easy watch.
Until 26 August
Myra DuBois: Dead Funny, Underbelly, Bristo Square * * * *
“It’s okay to whoop and cheer,” acid-tongued drag sensation Myra DuBois quips. “It’s what I would have wanted.”
The gimmick of the show, you see, is that we are the guests at Myra’s funeral, which comes complete with mawkish tribute photo, black urn, box of tissues and an unusually lively subject. Not many corpses, after all, greet their own mourners high-kicking in leopardskin and sequins and belting out “rest in peace” to the tune of Rescue Me.
Myra DuBois has become a Fringe fixture in recent years, attracting a loyal gang of “AdMyras” with her razor-sharp gags and fearsome ability to bounce off whatever happens in the room, generally with grandiose put-downs that are witty and warm enough not to offend.
Until 25 August
Georgia Tasda’s School of Magic, PBH’s Free Fringe @ CC Blooms * * * *
This rowdy, knockabout drag show combines macabre-glam style, a fantastical story, groan-worthy gags and scattershot references all delivered at a breakneck pace, with self-aware charm and a distinctly queer kick.
The plot, such as it is, revolves around Georgia – pale skin, milky eyes, glittery encrustations and Yorkshire tones – setting up her own comprehensive school for witchcraft to go up against the posh boarding school up the road.
There’s no shortage of scatological japes, including a highly distinctive animal supporting character, plus a very unusual sex scene brought to life in a very memorable way.