Last night lovely Ben took me for an evening of cabaret.
One of the acts was a very beautiful man who explained how when he was 24 he thought he'd been an alien and had recorded an album in his bedroom called "Alienathan" which he then sang songs from. They were all awful and we all laughed and gradually he told more stories and explained his betrayal by his lover and he passed round his bankruptcy proceeding papers and it all got dark and sinister and then he sang a duet with a recording of his younger self, and some of us may just have cried at how sad growing up is.
I'm not quite sure when I remembered I'd once tried to ask him out at University, but I made an utter mess of it. Later on he starred in a one-man Hamlet with finger-puppets and self-harm which was brilliant.
He was followed by a performer called Dickie Bow who did what's probably deconstructionist drag, examining subtly why it is that men dress up as women in the first place. It was clever and moving and poetic.
Sadly, he was followed by "Miss Kimberley", an act so awful I actually felt a bit funny. It was like Dickie Bowe hadn't happened. This was a New York trash tranny in a big wig, all ancient 'tude and unfunny snap. It was like discovering an Aldi knock-off of Ru Paul. She wasn't funny, she wasn't clever - she was just there. And there was a queasy tang of misogyny on the dry ice, which doesn't look good on a gay and looks terrible on a drag queen. It's as outdated as Bernard Manning. There's a difference between a man wearing a frock as a laugh and doing it to get what felt like... revenge. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was, but it somehow made me think about standing in Trafalgar Square a few months ago, and it made me wonder what the point was when there's this kind of thing on. *shrugs* But that's my view. She had her fans in the audience who loved every minute of it.