Includes ticket to Wig Out!, post-show buffet and party hosted by Boogaloo Stu with DJ, cabaret...… Read more
The Royal Court Theatre presents
By Tarell Alvin McCraney
21 November 2008 – 10 January 2009
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs
Tickets: Tickets £25, £18, £12. Stalls Seating £25 per person (no concs) (Please note that the stalls spa
“In this gossamer- laced reality there is never a moment to be without your face, to not be together. One false move and you’ll get chopped. One night can leave you legendary or a subsidiary.”
Enter the legendary House of Light, a hyper-glamorous, uber-competitive drag queen refuge where a daughter who was once a son, can find a family.
While the House are primping and preening for a catwalk showdown with the other houses, drag queen Nina is wooing the delectable Eric as Wilson, a de-camped, make-up free ‘straight’ gay man. How can Nina/Wilson strut the thorny divide between opposite genders and differing worlds?
With sassy music, killer costumes and performed in a club cabaret setting, Wig Out! brings to glorious, vivid life, a riotous, defiant drag queen sub-culture.
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Select a Date
Dates in November
|Fri 21 Nov 2008||7:30pm||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs|
Sold out Performances
Tickets £25, £18, £12. Stalls Seating £25 per person (no concs) (Please note that the stalls space will be reconfigured for this production: see the seating plan on the main Wig Out! page). Mondays all seats £10. Concessions £5 off the top two prices.(avail. in advance for all perfs until 29 Nov and all matinees. For all other perfs, avail. on a standby basis). 25 and under £6 – 10 seats in the Balcony and Circle for each performance. Schools and HE Groups 8+ 50% off top two prices (avail. Tue-Fri and mats). Groups 6+ £5 off top price. All discounts are subject to availability and ID maybe required. To book concessions please call the box office on 020 7565 5000.
Reviews Gate – Carole Woddis
This is the third play London theatregoers have seen this year by young Black American playwright, Tarell Alvin McCraney and the most daring. The Brothers Size, and In the Red and Brown Water surfaced earlier in the autumn at the Young Vic. This is the first time the Royal Court have staged him and in keeping with the subject matter New York drag queens the stalls have been transformed into an amazing catwalk.
Amazing, because the second half of Dominic Cooke’s production is given over almost entirely to a fashion show parade of glittering, darkly glamorous, spangly drag queens strutting their stuff and competing for the title of top Queen at their annual Ball.
Camping it up in style and there is plenty of that and some fabulous wigs on show, courtesy of Ultz is not however this productions be-all and end-all, dynamic though it is thanks to Dominic Cooke’s finger-snapping, lipsynching, inspired touches.
McCraney, as always, has deeper things in mind. Unlike many gay plays involving drag queens, this not an excuse for a dose of twittering misogyny but a real attempt to convey heartbreak emotions about love.
It may be, as is usual with McCraney, highly metaphorical. The Drag Ball is poised between two competing `houses, the House of Light, reigned over by `mother Rey-Rey and founding `father, Lucian, against the House of Diabolique, ruled by Serena (Billy Carter, looking for all the world like a cross between Boy George and the late performance artist, Leigh Bowery) and all overseen by three female ‘Fates’.
McCraney’s writing, zippy, streetwise though it is, is also hugely compassionate. He has a way of changing ugly reality into three-dimensional beauty by introducing back-stories and other generations. So it is here.
My grandmother wore a wig, becomes a mantra from which many of the characters begin to tell their inner story. My father wore a wig, says Lucian, revealing his fathers hidden self. I wondered about the man my father wore a wig for. I wondered what power he had to make my father be a woman for him. Stunning moment, mesmerising piece. 4 stars Pink Paper – Milo Wakelin
This fierce, sexually-charged, prodigiously entertaining new play from young playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney brings the noise and fury of the the black/latino American drag-house circuit to a little corner of London.
The House of Light is challenged to a Cinderella showdown by the House of Diabolique, but ball starts at midnight and the children have only a few hours to prepare. Meanwhile, Wilson aka Ms Nina (the gorgeous Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), one of The House of Light’s most talented daughters has kicked off her heels and jumped in bed with Eric (Alex Lanipekun), a shy, straight-acting subway pickup. As the clock ticks down to the contest, tensions between the House’s magnificent Mother, Rey-Rey (Kevin Harvey) and its Father, Lucian (Danny Sapani) come to a head.
McCraney’s text gives this tale of warring houses a suitably Shakespearean overtone, and with the stage opened out into a catwalk, Dominic Cooke’s production has spectacle to spare. But if the result only scratches the surface of a treasure trove of drag culture, and if the glamour lacks a certain sense of consequence, when you look this good, does it really matter what’s underneath?