If ever there was a belly laughing, glittery, musical inspiration drag queen performance that captures the spirit of Melbourne Fringe Festival, then this is it. Like a dramatic, colour saturated version of Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert at the Olympics in Sydney, How to Kill the Queen of Pop follows three magnificent ladies, the “T Boners”, on their journey to performing at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Olympic Games, and to their avenue to do it: by killing that back stabbing traitor, Vanessa Amorrosi. It’s decent into absolute chaos, via song and flawless choreography, features long time collaborators Samuel Russo, Tom Halls and Adam Ibrahim, with appearances by Simone French as Amorossi, and some other classic Australian performers.
This show relives the best and worst parts of the Sydney opening and closing ceremonies, and if you don’t remember how completely naff, camp and glorious they were don’t even worry because these guys have a projector to show you just how kooky they were. Setting the scene perfectly for an over dramatized drag performance; Russo, Halls and Ibrahim are funny, completely in sync and both stellar vocalists and dancers, and French is an impressive soprano and mimic of Amorossi. The choreography is really slick and poppy, and the song choices of late 90s pop greats makes you want to get up and dance. The audience was in hysterics the entire show, cheering and hollering and loving every minute of it. Slapstick humour, paired with a re-imagining of an event we all remember in a setting we’d never imagine, and a love story involving Ian Thorpe – what’s not to love and laugh at in this show!
It’s dark and a little gory with their central plot point being how they’d like to poison Amorrosi with an airborne-based toxin that ends with her in a puddle of goo, but it is still light hearted and funny as hell. The show comes to a climax by going completely off the rails into delightful absurdity in a secret diva’s club under Sydney Olympic Park, with a lost mother adoption plot and the sad but hysterical death of Babbagetto, the Egyptian grandfather who died being hit by a rouge tennis ball at the Australian open. But if you’ve previously seen these performers before in their previous fringe shows like last year’s Immaculate party, or the eccentric Nothing Special, then you’ll know to expect the outrageous.
The small space does not hinder these performers at all – they don’t need a set or props with this amount of charisma, it fills the space entirely. The simple use of a projector and some screens for the performers to hide behind was all they needed to bring this story to life. The set changes are a little messy and take some time but you’re too busy still laughing at the classic Australian music pun someone just cracked to notice.
This ridiculous, magnificent show plays until September 30 at Arts House in North Melbourne. Absolutely Everybody should get on down there for a boogie and make a night of it at the Fringe Hub. Tickets and more info at: https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/event/how-to-kill-the-queen-of-pop/