*Review: The Lady Boys of Bangkok

When I was first invited to go along and review the latest tour of The Lady Boys of Bangkok, I have to admit I was a little dubious. I didn’t really know what to expect and I don’t think it’s the kind of show I’d have booked under my own steam.

It was Mr Mess who convinced me that it might be a good night out for us both. We’re pretty open-minded and like having a good laugh so we decided to go along and see what all the fuss is about.

When the Lady Boys are in town, you definitely can’t miss them. The custom-designed venue, a huge pink tent called “The Sabai Pavillion”, dominated the Old Market Square in Nottingham and grabbed the attention of many a passer-by.

Upon showing your tickets, you are led into the entrance foyer, where you can get a variety of drinks from the bar, fresh Thai food or even some fun merchandise.

After getting a drink and taking a few silly photos in the foyer, Mr Mess and I were shown to our table in the main area of the marquee where the performance would take place. On booking we were told we might have to share our table with other guests, but as it turned out we were lucky enough to have a table all ourselves.

I really don’t even know how to begin to describe the show itself. It was a sparkly, glitzy, cabaret extravaganza and I was mesmerised from start to finish. Billed as “The Greatest Party in Town” it certainly lived up to its name. The routines varied from large group numbers to solo performances, each as entertaining as the next.

When it came to musical selection, there was something for everyone with the choices ranging from current favourites to classic party anthems. There were also a few comedy selections to help keep the laughter flowing.

The “Girls” were all completely stunning (and obviously very talented!). They must have been exhausted from all of the amazing costume changes alone, switching quickly from glamorous showgirls, to glitzy cowgirls, to sexy sailors. I don’t think I can remember the last time I felt quite so inadequate and sexually confused at the same time!

I also really enjoyed watching Mr Sak, our emcee for the evening and the male performers, who were all cheeky and full of charisma, also gave some brilliant performances.

Easily my favourite performer of the evening though was Ole, who completely stole the show every time she came on stage with one of her naughty, solo comedy routines. Clearly a consummate professional, she definitely knew how to work a crowd and was a firm audience favourite.

The content of the show is cheeky, camp and fun without ever being vulgar or offensive. Having said that, if you’re the kind of person who isn’t keen on audience participation or panto-style innuendo and humour, this might not be the show for you.

It would, however, be the perfect night out for a hen or birthday party. We watched the early show and although the audience were a little quiet to begin with, they soon warmed up and everyone was having a great time by the end of the show. I’d love to go back one night with a group of friends to make the most of the party atmosphere.

One other thing that really impressed me about the event organisation, was that as well as the silly, entertainment aspect of the evening, there was also a more sensible, practical side. In an effort to reduce plastic waste, guests were asked to purchase a reusable glass for £2 which could either be returned for a refund at the end of the evening or kept as a souvenir.

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There were also leaflets highlighting the chosen charity of “Lady Boys of Bangkok”, “Safe Child Thailand”. I thought it was great to see that they were using their audience to try and do something positive in the world and this really endeared me to the whole company.

Although I possibly wouldn’t have thought to go to a Lady Boys show before I received this invite, I think it’s safe to say I’m now a total convert and will definitely be keeping my eye our for the next time their tour comes to Nottingham.

“The Lady Boys of Bangkok” will be in Nottingham Old Market Square until Sunday 28th April, after which they continue their tour around the UK. Full tour details and ticket information can be found on their website

Disclaimer: Complimentary tickets were gifted for review purposes. All views and opinions are my own

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