A(Poke)alypse Now – Mamoirs of a Gieza; I’m Still Here, The Street, Edinburgh * * * *
In her first solo show, the drag dynamo offers a potted history of her 49 extraordinary years of life in a highly entertaining – and rousingly progressive – combination of juicy spoken word, witty musical pastiche and congregational audience participation.
The saga of Gieza spans her whole life, from that fateful nocturnal arrival through teenage fumblings, marriage and motherhood, mid-life ructions and newfound liberation, all the way up to her current position as sex-positive inspirational icon. Our heroine stands poised at the microphone, memoir (sorry, ‘mamoir’) in hand, as she guides us through the twists and turns, illustrating each chapter with a send-up of a familiar tune. She’s got a good, strong voice and the pastiches are consistently canny, from a Caledonian version of the Banarama hit Venus to a reworking of the disco anthem Love is in the Air that encourages us to “love your pubic hair”.
It’s a boisterous ride, with plenty of cheeky asides and fun participation. But there’s real panache to the storytelling too. Geiza has a nifty line in wordplay and puns and paints each scenario with an almost cinematic eye, adding in evocative details of the environment as well as character and setting. From camping trips to aerobics, even potentially cartoonish elements of the tale feel grounded in a kind of reality. And there’s a sincere politics at work too, allowing a brassy Glaswegian girl’s voyage of self-discovery to work as a rallying call for sexual self-expression and queer community at the same time. The Waverley paddle steamer will never seem the same again.
Until 24 August