Words by Samantha Harman
I was invited to review Extravaganza 3 Fringe Benefits and having no preconceptions made my way to Ironworks Studio with some friends to check it out.
The relatively new venue has a strong contemporary industrial vibe with a well stocked bar and comfortable seating in the reception area. The theatre is also roomy the view of the stage isn’t restricted no matter where you sit.
From the outset the show was hilarious, hosted by Stella Pint who introduced the first act, everyone’s favourite nurse, local glamourpuss and NHS hero Brandy Bex who took to the stage to recite some poetry and regale the audience with tales of a disgruntled nurse. This set the tone for the rest of the evening which featured stunning performers I’ve never seen before. There was everything from burlesque, drag, hoop, comedy and singing which induced non-stop laughter from my friends and I.
Drag artist Dolly Trolly took the stage by storm with perfect vocals, outfits and makeup on point. Her version of Spandau Ballet classic ‘Gold’ was reworked and became ‘Mould’ all about the trials of buying from the reduced aisle of the supermarket and was pure comedy genius.
Another favourite of mine was burlesque performer Ida Sanguine who is quite literally one of the most beautiful creatures I’ve ever seen on stage. Her performance was tongue in cheek glamour personified and the crowd couldn’t get enough of her fabulous lip synching and outfit changes.
Ever been to bum squad? We all did that night with hilarious workout parody performance that had us all chanting in unison from Aimee Cooper who also parodied patronising but hilarious life coach Melanie Melinda McKenzie.
Following a break to top up on Savvy B and crisps, it was time for the charity raffle. The prizes included a Kylie print from The Postman Art (and yes I was devastated I didn’t win it), a £50 pizza express voucher, a spa day at Ockenden Manor and brunch for two at Arcobaleno. All of the proceeds went to Nurse Lifeline, a new charity that provides peer-led support to nurses, midwives, student nurses, healthcare assistants, their friends and their families. It’s a free service.
The event was rounded off with more wonderful entertainment that included drag queen Miss Ruby V who dazzled with her amazing outfits and slick performance. Shout out to Timitation the drag king and Circus Dolls who were also delightful, sadly my word count restricts me.
Go and see the next show on Friday 24th November at Ironworks Studio, it is unmissable.