Mind (and Body) Positive

In which Laura Clay highlights two more performances at the Edinburgh Fringe:

Joe Sutherland: Toxic

Coming on stage to the strains of I Know What Boys Like, Joe Sutherland oozes all the confidence and sass of a seasoned performer. Gender, sexuality, and identity are his targets, as he takes aim at school bullies, the hyper-bro toxic masculinity of Top Gear, and losing childhood friends over refusing to play football. The small but appreciative crowd lapped up his sharp, sarcy takes – I’ve never heard non-binary people compared to Nick Clegg before, but I’m glad I did.

Much of the material is close to the bone truth about millennial life and the abuse faced by gay men, and towards the end of the set Joe became visibly emotional describing why having good representation and allies matter. He definitely deserves a much larger audience, and I hope he’s filling bigger venues next year.

Underbelly Dexter un til 27th August

Denim: The Reunion  

After a traumatic breakup at last year’s Fringe, the Spice Girls-esque drag troupe Denim return with an all-singing, all high-kicking extravaganza in the plush surroundings of the Piccolo tent. The venue was packed with diehard fans, it seemed, hanging on their every word. Songs ranging from film classics to Eurovision hits got everyone on their feet throughout.

Each member, from the cult leader to the right-on activist, got their turn in the spotlight, though I felt that some of the more topical comedy material didn’t quite work. At times, too, the band drowned out some of the innuendo song lyrics, which was a shame.

All the same, the queens’ voices were strong, and the message of body positivity and loving yourself was a powerful one.

Assembly, George Square 23, 24, 26th August


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