Cabaret & Variety review: Courtney Act: The Girl From Oz

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: There is a palpable sense of excitement in the Spiegeltent. Fans of RuPaul's Drag Race are out in force for the night '“ young, old, male, female, gay, straight.

Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (Venue 360)


Courtney Act, season six runner up, is in Edinburgh for the first time to give the fans what they want –full on megawatt drag queen glamour.

And here she is, in a glittery ripped up version of a Judy Garland dress, with her hair exploding into blonde film star ringlets and balanced on a pair of ruby red roller skates.

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The Aussie drag superstar totters around on the skates before bursting into her first song, Xanadu. Bitchy Drag Race references bring giddy screams of recognition from the fans.

But there is much more to watching Courtney Act than having the thrill of seeing a reality star live before your eyes. She puts on a really good show. Act blasts through disco numbers then changes to a shimmering Hollywood gown for the power ballads. Finally in a jaw-dropping rhinestone corset she goes full on sexy for AC/DC and Kylie.

Courtney is a proper diva when she sings, with a real raw emotional vulnerability in her voice. And she reminds us life is not always easy for a boy dressed as a girl, in a world of Trump and the Aussie marriage equality debate.

She’s a tough cookie, but she’s had to be. She’s also an entertainer who gives her all. She tells the audience she has fallen in love with Edinburgh and lists the shows she’s seen which just makes us love her even more.

She could do more ­of the personal stuff and less ­Australian trivia but this is only an ­introduction and I’m sure that we will see ­Courtney Act in Edinburgh again.

At the end, the queue for selfies stretches halfway across the Meadows.

Until 26 August. Today 6pm.