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Man, I feel like a woman

The Mancon team went down to the Lowry last night for an utterly bemusing night of camp cabaret courtesy of the Lady Boys of Bangkok's Full Moon Party Tour...

Published on June 28th 2006.

Man, I feel like a woman

At one point last night I had one of those moments where you step outside of your body and just take stock of the situation from an outside perspective. And this is what I saw. I was sat in a big top in Salford Quays, in an audience of transvestites, transsexuals and Gordo, watching ten ambiguously gendered Thai zombies wandering around on a stage, pulling the odd Michael Jackson dance move. Not your average Monday night. Where was I? As if you need to ask. It could only be the camp-as-Christmas cabaret, The Ladyboys of Bangkok.

After the Thai zombies wandered off the stage in the way that only Thai zombies can, a bemused Gemma turned to me and said ‘I actually have absolutely no idea what is going to happen next’. And with that, she summed up the feeling of the entire night.

Apart from a general theme of Thai beauties with lumps in their trunks (or not, as the case may be… where did they put them??) running through the acts, this was a night of absolute randomness. From the Pussy Cat Dolls to the Moulin Rouge, from a Hawaii style beach party to Freddy Mercury, and from Tina Turner to, well, zombies, this show covered it all.

We began our night in the Sabai Chill out zone adjacent to the main entertainment area, where we got into the spirit with some tasty Thai food and Sabai before heading through to take our places in the main auditorium. The seating was arranged, not like a traditional auditorium, but around tables like some Las Vegas cabaret club, which encouraged a much more sociable atmosphere and increased audience participation.

It appeared, however, that some of the more reluctant males in the audience didn’t really welcome the idea of audience participation. It was averted eyes and uncomfortable shifting in seats all round every time one of the Ladyboys descended from the stage like a lioness stalking a herd of wilderbeast for prey, followed by sighs of relief when a weaker member of the herd was picked out and the others were safe, for the moment.

The fellas in the Mancon troupe, Gordo and Angry Al, were a little upset to have not been chosen to dance on stage with the lady boys, so hurried up there at their first opportunity during the interval to have their photo taken. “Cor, that one next to me was well fit” gushed Gordo on his return to the table. And he was not wrong – some of the performers were gobsmackingly stunning. Kelly and I both agreed that we’d kill to look like a couple of them, even if they did have a few extra bits and pieces tucked away.

As for the actual show – hmm. I really don’t know what to say. Basically, if you go, leave all of your inhibitions and preconceptions at the door, and get drunk. Very drunk. The show was basically a cabaret of different dances and songs – all mimed, very badly. I don’t actually think that some of the performers knew the words to the songs that they were supposed to be singing. Nontheless, while miming may not have been their strong point, the performers were all beautiful and entertaining, and adding to their visual appeal was a showcase of shamelessly extravagant costumes that Elton John would have envied.

Is The Ladyboys of Bangkok a good show? Not really. Will you have a good time if you go? Yes. Most definitely. It’s so bad it’s good, it’s so surreal that it’s funny. And it’s all extremely good natured. So get a group together, get very drunk on Sabai, and get yourself down to the big top at the Lowry for one of the weirdest evenings you’ll ever have.

The Lady Boys of Bangkok, Full Moon Party tour at The Lowry until July 22

click here for details.

Jayne Robinson
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