Cabaret & Variety
CC Blooms (venue 171)
6th till 28th Aug (not 17th)
This Fringe stalwart (I remember when he was so fresh faced and new, what happened?) returns with his high-energy, high-camp, high-flying storytelling hour and I have no idea how he does it! Each of his 4 Edinburgh Fringe offerings so far (Gory Hole, Pussy Panic, Trigger Happy and now Myth Mouth) has been a complete and brand new show.
Consistently brilliant, playful, outrageous and with an incredible talent for wordplay and hidden meaning, Darkly gives us a new set of characters, including Cha Cha, the sissy neanderthal whose need for validation and power corrupts him tragically, Laika the stray dog cosmonaut whose religious indoctrination drives her to commit a terrible act even though she’s a good dog really and then Persephone when she emerges from Hades as a recovering addict and is thrust back into her dysfunctional Olympian toxic family situation.
Darkly’s tales are nuanced, sharp, caustic but humane, layered like an Annie Lennox song (Love Song For A Vampire most likely). Everything he does is about letting stories come to life, alternative takes on pop culture, human (or canine) nature and entertainment. This collection of stories crosses time and space in an effort to explore new ideas of queer legends of tomorrow.
What baffles me is why this show isn’t sold out every night. It’s incredibly relevant to what we’re going through and more than that, it’s incredibly funny and touching. His tales embrace and celebrate the dark and twisted parts of ourselves, they are anti-shame, pro-queer parables of remarkable intricacy. So why aren’t people flocking to a free show that does all these things?
Maybe we’re not comfortable with the image we see reflected back to us by him. In the world of no fats, no fems what place is there for a sequined bejewelled nancy boy who will demand that we face our worst fears and prejudices? We need to make space.
I remember when I heard about the Orlando shooting and my recollection of Darkly’s tale of Otis Moonshine and the Gay Werewolves from last year, which ends with the closeted anti-hero outside a gay nightclub in a van full of silver weaponry, tossing a coin to decide on the fate of those inside. I have also been dumbstruck by a piece written for his blog about the coroner’s cart during the black death and how it still creaks and calls for all the black deaths today.
Go along, pay attention, learn something. Take a friend so you’ll have someone to talk to about it later and also we all have a duty to each other, to share experiences and ideas.