What’s so clever about Pageant is it’s close proximity to the truth that will have you gasping.
This fabulous and very camp homage to the world of the American Beauty pageant is so rich in satire, pulsating with an energy that has the cast so perfect in their respective roles relishing the schmaltz and kitsch of the whole damn show.
This is the story of 6 regional heat winners,Miss Great Plains, played by a scene stealing Alex Anstey, Kevin Grogan as a very nimble on her feet and slightly manic. Miss West Coast. Nic Chiappetta as Miss Industrial Northwest whose lust for life borders on the insane. Jonni Gatenby as the sinister and rather manipulative, tap dancing cowgirl from Texas. John McManus as Miss Bible Belt whose powerhouse vocals took the roof of the pace. and lastly the very watchable and tantalising Miss Deep South played with such an air of deliberate sexy bravado by Adam O’Shea who as regional winners are now up for the supreme title of Miss Glamorous, Along the way they have to take part in various rounds Evening gown, talent , swimwear , physical fitness and beauty crisis counselling. Book and lyrics by Bill Russell and Frank Kelly, music by Albert Evans and conceived by Robert Longbottom this is also a statement about American life and to some extent the drama and challenges that present themselves The star turn though belongs to Miles Western as MC Frankie Cavilier, a smarmy lecherous host, a non self-effacing clown. The false sincerity his character possesses is comedy gold and beautifully evokes men of that type. This is a full on pastiche excellent fly on the wall send up . Surreal in places, a beautiful bitch fest. I did indeed felt passion for Pageant . Think Mean Girls meets What ever happened to Baby Jane and you have it,
4 stars Performances on the 24th, 25th , 26th August t London Irish centre