Edinburgh Fringe 2017
Inspired by true events, Winner Best Comedy Vault Festival 2017, Prom Kween tells the story of Matthew Crisson, the first ever boy to win the coveted US high school title…and the bitches who tried to stand in his way.
This show’s got it all; the jocks, the nerds, the mean girls…and RuPaul (Charles), School Principal here to see fair play in the campaign and election for Prom Queen 2016. Lexy is the most popular girl in school and a shoe-in to win, partnered by handsome star footballer Trey (Sam Swann). It looks like she is going to stand unopposed until super square Binky (played with screwball finesse by Lucy Pearman, nominee for the Fringe Best Comedy Newcomer award) cajoles shy non-binary Matthew to stand.
In a clever way to explore what it means to be non-binary Matthew is played by 80 per cent of this talented cast (2 men, 2 women) at various points whilst the fifth member of the ensemble is William Donaldson (Principle Charles) standing tall in his glittering heels. Sadly I can’t name check the musician but he is great on keyboards and fiddle.
Part parody, part homage to the American High School genre Prom Kween also satirises modern day America and its contradictions surrounding what is acceptable. On one side we have Matthew’s Dad (Dan Millar) the epitome of a bigoted, red necked jock, and on the other the school community rooting for his son to succeed.
It isn’t perfect, but it’s on its way and so what if the acoustics in this packed venue are a bit muffled, the stage is a tad too small for the routines, and the sight lines are a bit challenging? Every visit to the Fringe should include a camp parody musical complete with sing along overture and this is my pick for 2017. Rebecca Levy (who also plays Lexy) has done a great job in bringing a serious issue and heart-warming story to the stage. Hopefully she can develop the script further to give full weight to Lexy’s devious campaigning, the show can take being longer.
There is a lot of lively language and sexual references but it isn’t lewd and underneath the sequins and pizazz it is thoughtful and instructive.
Here’s hoping that this show gets a transfer to a bigger venue. It deserves to run and run.