15-22 August, 00.00
With so many acts dropping silk gloves around Edinburgh, Eat Your Heart Out is a much needed revitalisation in the overexposed medium of cabaret theatre. Its talented cast have crunched and chewed the heart of cabaret, spitting out cliché and blending song with sociology, politics with black sequins.
Founder Scottee’s audience control is that of the music hall greats, earning his crowd’s attention without microphone or effects and relying purely on his quick wit and spontaneity. In drag queen Myra DuBois the piece has a charming mediator between audience and cast, seamlessly drifting into pounding monologues of her roots and challenging the outmoded nature of end-of-the-pier drag. DuBois is drag at its most progressive and most comfortable.
Miss Annabel Sings, a wry chanteuse, drags her audience onto the stage for group therapy, strumming her guitar like an over-medicated primary teacher. Passionate yet sensitive, her songs depict the melancholy loneliness of city life, frighteningly illustrated by unsettling video installations.
Eat Your Heart Out is a rewarding experience. The group have seemingly done the impossible and made avant garde theatre accessible, compiling a vibrant showcase of vignettes and striking at the heart of performance art without descending into the unintelligible or disengaging.
- Scott Purvis