BenDeLaCreme: Inferno-A-Go-Go, O2 Academy, Birmingham - review
It may have been raining outside, but last night RuPaul's Drag Race star BenDeLaCreme took fans in Birmingham on a journey to the red hot depths of hell in her new show Inferno-A-Go-Go.
Based on Dante and the 14th century poet's famed Divine Comedy, the 36-year-old drag queen explored the nine rings of hell with a camp comedic twist.
First up to warm the crowd, however, was London queen Meth performing a hilarious comedy routine with an evil twist.
From a lip-synch mash-up based on Disney villains, to an energetic dance number to Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell which saw the queen prance across the stage with latex bat wings - Meth had the entire crowd laughing hysterically from start to finish.
Through flashing red lights and the sound of thunder clapping, BenDeLaCreme crept onto the stage in a hooded black cloak before whipping it off to reveal a glamorous tasselled bodysuit - all to raucous applause from the audience.
The queen, created by Seattle artist Benjamin Putnam, explored the different circles of hell and what constitutes as 'good' and 'evil' through a series of comedy songs, acting, puppetry, and more.
Whether she was singing a song packed full of tongue-in-cheek lyrics, or interacting with characters on an LED screen, BenDeLa had the crowd's undivided attention.
Through a combination of her expert costume changes, intelligent jokes and quirky, camp comedy; BenDeLa instantly connected with the audience. Even the most simple of side glances or pauses caused the room to explode with applause and laughter.
As well as being hilarious, the queen explored 'real life evils' - such as political corruption, mental health issues, and criminal injustice - in a sensitive and respectful manner that helped add depth to the show.
The juxtaposition of these serious themes with BenDeLa's silly sense of humour created one bizarre yet charming performance.
We weren't really travelling through the depths of hell - crossing the River Styx and chatting to harpies along the way - but it was hard not to be drawn into the narrative and find out what would happen next.
Inferno-A-Go-Go was far from a hellish experience. BenDeLaCreme combined comedy and philosophy into one weird and wacky show that I'd encourage anyone to go and see.
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