The Lady Boys of Bangkok are a touring troupe of Thai transvestites who dance, sing and do burlesque and bawdy acts.
They normally play in Brighton in a pavilion during the Brighton Festival for a month commencing May 6th. I went to see them yesterday inviting a young companion.
Their’s is a slick act and there are various ways of monetising the show beyond the ticket price. A gin and tonic set me back £9 but the beaker – bearing the name of the show – is refundable and for £4 you can have your picture taken with the Lady Boys in the interval
The USP is the lady boys – whilst sexy and glamorously-dressed in exotic costumes – are all men.
I found this wore off quite quickly but they danced with brio, mostly they mimicked well-known songs and, much to the audience’s amusement, brought members of the audience on stage. One person was blindfolded and shackled to a chair whilst the lady boy mimicked various sexual acts.
The audience – especially the female element which was in the majority – found this hysterical.
Gender fluidity is part of Thailand’s culture.
The music hall had artistes who pretended to be men (I’m Burlington Bertie from Bow is a particular favourite of mine) and cross-dressers like Danny la Rue are well established variety British acts.
This is fusion of both traditions.
There are a number of variables in going out. We had a rude taxi driver take us there; a lady on our table insisted on holding her phone high above her head in order to video the performance – this obscuring our view; there were no taxis outside, forcing us to walk to the station for my friend to catch her train home.
I did not object too vociferously when she suggested we leave early.
I am pleased I saw the show but it will probably be another a couple of years before I do so again.