Denim The Reunion Tour…hits London
Denim The Reunion Tour- Soho Theatre
Drag has never been more popular! It seems, thanks to shows like Rupaul’s Drag Race, this long established artform is finally breaking into the mainstream! With the Spice Girls reconciliation still fresh in the air, Denim – The Reunion Tour, couldn’t have come at a better time! Although, in this case, all five members are back!
Following their sell out global tour, their heart-breaking split & questionable solo careers, the Denim girls reunite for a one night only extravaganza giving their 13-billion-strong fan base exactly what they’ve been waiting for. And yes, I said 13 billion. Pay attention Spice Girls!
As we head into the opening number and the medley of ‘well known & original’ Denim songs (lyrically modified pop covers that included I’m So Excited, Sound of The Underground & Wannabe), we begin to gain a better understanding of each member.
The mesmerising and anti-depressant dependent Glamrou. The very sweet & hugely unhinged Shirley. Beautifully wealthy & extremely privileged Aphrodite. The bearded and effortlessly cool Crystal and finally, the vocal powerhouse Elektra whose non-Denim years have been spent working for a plethora of charities that included Save The Mongoose (honestly, don’t ask).
In the respite of the entertaining musical numbers, expertly executed by a three-piece band, we learned that each member has had their own personal struggles in the years since Denim disbanded. Although vocally there were some questionable moments from unlucky in love Glamrou, her unapologetic attitude towards her Islamic upbringing and “token” status within the band leant itself to some fantastically inappropriate and real laughter inducing comedy.
On the whole this was a feel good and enjoyable show perfectly suited for its intimate surroundings of the Soho Theatre (or as the girls would have us believe; the O2, Wembley Arena & Carnegie Hall). Offering us a mix of pop and musical theatre classics, each queen took their moment to shine with stand out performances including Elektra’s I Am What I Am, Shirley’s crowd pleasing We’re All in This Together and the fuller-figured Crystal’s body image accepting Underneath Your Clothes! The subtle nod to the aforementioned Rupaul’s Drag Race (Miss Vanjie!) was a personal favourite and any show that manages to get not one but two F.R.I.E.N.D.S references in is definitely doing something right!
As a five piece, the harmonies worked well, and the feeling of sisterhood and acceptance was clear to see. With such individual looks, it was difficult to decide which queen you were more intrigued by and, much like the Spice Girls, I found myself wondering which of them would’ve been my chosen Denim! Spoiler alert: It would have been Ms. Aphrodite! Beautiful & wealthy with 8 kids and a body like that?! That’s my queen for sure!
Although minor, there were a few areas I’d like to have seen improved. The small venue, while the perfect space for such a show, was unforgiving when it came to vocal mishaps and, at times, I’d catch myself inadvertently winching at missed notes. A little more attention paid to the girls work as a fivesome would only add to the believability that we were watching a once successful girl band and not just five individual queens. The choreography was at times a little disappointing and, especially during the Dreamgirls number, I found myself silently willing the queens to give more. Something all five girls were obviously capable of producing.
Overall however, this is a fun, fast and fabulous night out showcasing drag, pop and performance in all its glory. Down some wine, grab a few friends & head on over to Soho…sorry the O2…for the Denim Reunion Tour!
Review by Kemal Ibrahim
To find out more about Denim visit their website.