Razed & Confuzed Goes Digital 2.0
The evening gets off to a rocky start. The audience is left to vibe along to hip-hop hits in a waiting room as the Raze team deals with a spat of IT difficulties. After an awkward pause, however, the screen finally lights up and Beau Jangles – a drag king dressed like a Prohibition-era gangster – bursts into action. “Apologies for the technical delays, folks; I’m not from around here – I’m from the 1940s”. From this moment forward, the spectators are in good hands.
Organised by the Raze Collective, Razed & Confuzed Goes Digital 2.0 is the second iteration of an online cabaret. The event is a night where up-and-coming LGBTQIA+ artists are given the funds and a platform to share their counter-cultural work with an eager audience. Balancing mayhem with merriment, Razed & Confuzed offers a veritable smorgasbord of surreal and silly fun.
Up first is acclaimed clown Frankie Thompson, delivering what can only be described as a queer fever dream. Backed with the track Yes Sir, I Can Boogie by Baccara, the performer creates a visually saccharine display about mushrooms, wet cats and the reproductive habits of slugs – no, really. Nothing is off-limits on this stage. Following this daring exhibition is the political pastiche Thatcher-Rite: Tea-Team by Jack Boal. The segment is an interactive performance where punters can engage with a purgatory-bound Maggie Thatcher. Insult her, pity her, force her to eat chocolate hobnobs; nothing is off the table when it comes to punishing this historically anti-queer leader. Inasmuch, Boal delivers a surprisingly nuanced portrayal of the former PM, breathing some remorse and self-awareness into the otherwise despicable beast.
Completing the trilogy of headliners is Joé de Vivire and Tilda Death in Cocktails Before The Revolution. The act is a surprisingly cerebral lesson where viewers are taught how to make both mocktails and Molotov Cocktails. A witty composition of anti-bourgeois reflections and camp wisecracks, the segment unfortunately suffers due to its placement at the end of the programme. The slower pace of this piece undercuts the uptempo inertia generated by its speedy predecessors. Nevertheless, Vivire and Death are delightful and well worth the attention.
However, for a night that features such a diverse array of talent, the real stand-out is the audience’s compère-without-compare himself, Beau. Whether delivering a reworked, swing version of Cardi B’s WAP or cracking jokes about his nosy neighbour, Charlotte, the host keeps the show moving with flair and finesse. In one memorable moment, the drag king trips up over his own backstory and candidly remarks: “eh it’s all fun here, folks”. With Beau at the helm, it sure is.
Razed & Confuzed Goes Digital 2.0 is online from 11th December. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.