Cabaret & variety review: Yummy, Assembly Roxy

Australia has a proud tradition of drag '“ think Dame Edna Everage, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
The show features astonishing hula-hoop routines. Picture: ContributedThe show features astonishing hula-hoop routines. Picture: Contributed
The show features astonishing hula-hoop routines. Picture: Contributed

Yummy, Assembly Roxy (Venue 139) *****

Aussie burlesque also has its own energy – funny, clownish, visually extreme and uncompromisingly kinky. The two come together in Yummy, a Melbourne outfit combining drag and burlesque that has landed in Edinburgh for the first time. It’s fresh, new and you’ll never have seen anything like it.

Yummy is a loud, avant-garde, joyous disco riot, which fizzes with energy. With garish outfits reminiscent of the creations of Leigh Bowery, Yummy is a sexy, transgressive, genderfluid, fashion conscious non-stop party, which celebrates all the glorious misfits of the world.

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Our host is Karen from Finance, a cartoonish comic drag, with a host of over-the-top outfits loosely inspired by officewear. There is gorgeous Hannie Helden, the hula-hoop queen, who also strips down to her nipple tassels while performing astonishing multi-hoop routines.

Zelia Rose brings the burlesque, with sparkling, uber-sexy gymnastic routines, which give a whole new dimension to female beauty.

Benjamin Hancock, aka Bendy Benjamin, performs several eye-popping avant-garde routines, including a poignant showstopper which sees him dancing solo to Paloma Faith, with an animatronic box lip-synching on his head.

Finally, Jandruze and Valerie Hex – who is also the producer and designer of the show – are the leading drag dancers, creating amazing beautiful, impossibly elongated shapes with their elegant bodies and dancing in six-inch heels with an athleticism that’s hard to believe is even possible.

The choreography is extraordinary. You could almost watch this as a ballet – the movement is precise, lovely and strange with a human tenderness at the core.

With a tremendous soundtrack that ranges from Abba through The Specials, Bjork and Gwen Stefani to Christine Aguilera, this is a feelgood show which is not afraid to show its wounded, sensitive side.

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In proper club-night style the night finishes on a high – with a full-fat disco number which has the audience on its feet in rapturous applause.

Unless you are planning to hot-foot it soon over to the other side of the world I advise you to catch this show while you can. It’s another example of how Australia, with its vibrant festival scene, is currently having a triumphant moment in the performing arts.

• Until 26 August, 9:40pm