Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom (venue 93)
Nestled in the basement of the Newsroom, there lurks a bearded bear in a polka-dot dress, holding court in his otherworldly realm. It’s only previews and that’s normally a no-no for reviewing but the lad’s just done a show in Maryhill so I figure he’s ready and I kept missing his show last year at the Market Street Arches, so I wanted to get in early.
The show opens and he is resplendent in a black and white gown and blue sequin jacket. Welcome to the happy gender frottage from down under. Drag doesn’t have to be pretty, skinny and fishy – it can be a great slab of meat, served with a pair of hairy buns in a jockstrap and frock. Carter dominates (well he is a top) his audience with an acerbic wit and playfulness that is infectious like an STI.
I was worried from the title and images, let alone the 5pm slot, that this was going to be a little safe, or that it would feel like he was pandering to a straight audience. That just isn’t the case. We are all his happy, fierce submissive bitches clapping and purring for more. There’s a rough and ready romanticism to the notion of a penniless bearlesque performer that we’ve all bought into by the end of the hour.
He admits that he’s just being his authentic on stage, or at least a “fat disgusting ugly cunt in a dress”. In truth his strip tease is charming and titilating, his stories cringeworthy and comforting and everyone walks away feeling special. He just lets his inner 8-year-old faerie princess dungeon sex pig run wild and it’s enchanting in a way.
OK, so he’s not polished and after having toured this show for a year now the expectation is that he should be. So what? He’s filthy, crass and delightful. By the time you walk away you feel like he’s the kind of mate (with or without benefits) you could as happily go to the sauna or op-shopping for drag with. Or do guest spots around town, both of you in dresses running Kath & Kim monologues together. That’s worth few quid in his bucket.