The Ginger Snapped is a brand new musical show on now at The Leicester Square Theatre from Jinkx Monsoon, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race and her partner in rhyme Major Scales. Dave Cross, had a cup of tea, some biscuits and a catch up with the dynamic duo to find out what could make our favourite ginger snap.
Hi guys, are you excited to be back in London?
Major: Yes of course, we love playing in other places on tour, but this feels more like home for us.
Jinkx: I do love seeing other places, but it does feel like the audiences here in London are on our same frequency.
Major: Our niche comedy drag frequency.
How would you describe your style of performance?
Major: A lot of what we do is based on the clown work that we did in university with stylised and exaggerated characters. Basically I’m the straight man to her raving lunatic.
Jinkx: I loved doing the clown comedy classes because it improved my drag work like ten fold. I realised all the great comedies that people love use the same fundamentals.
When you’re here in London do you get to go out much?
Jinkx: I have a lot of friends here in London and I usually let them take the reins if we are going to have a night out. I’m a creature of habit and will go along with the crowd to the usual places, but, and I don’t want to just name drop…however… Sometimes pretty amazing people will come to see the shows and take me to the Groucho club with them. I love the concept of that place, I mean one night I went for a drink and Chris Hemsworth was in the same room and Uzo Aduba and then I met Noel Fielding… It was a surreal night.
Major can you describe Jinkx for me?
Major: It really does depend on the day, but on the best days, she’s like a glamorous fire on the side of road. Something that’s dangerous and alluring, but maybe slightly dingy.
And Jinkx can you please describe Major?
Jinkx: Major Scales is like a ball of rubber bands, held together by anxiety and surface tension.
How would you sum up the new show, The Ginger Snapped?
Jinkx: The idea is that we are there to perform a concert of songs from our new album, also called The Ginger Snapped, but from the moment Jinkx hits the stage is clear that she’s having a mental breakdown and Major has to step in to the role of psychiatrist. From that moment on it’s like a live psycho therapy session on stage.
So it’s about mental health?
Jinkx: We don’t generalise or make any comment on mental illness, we just tell my stories and kind of examine them. It should be something that we can talk about in any situation without feeling ashamed or stigmatised.
Isn’t that a tricky subject to navigate for a comedy show?
Jinkx: I think what keeps them light and funny is that they are all my stories, I would never assume to tell someone else’s. Plus the topics we use are all things that I’ve already been through and worked out, I’m out the other side and we not working through them on stage. I can joke about it and make something worthwhile out of it, like any other life experience.
Are there any subjects that you wouldn’t tackle in comedy?
Jinkx: I would never want to do anything that contributed to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia or any other kind of bigotry. I’m only interested in telling the stories that have come from my experiences.
How would you describe the songs in the show?
Major: All the music is from our new album and it has a real pop/cabaret style to it. When we first started making music together we bonded over our love of music from the 1920s, that sort of ragtime style, which was reflected on our first album. Now we’ve expanded the sound, we’ve added electronic sounds and more of a dance beat. There’s some songs that have a sort of punk reggae style and there’s a cover version of an Adam Ant b side, which Jinkx wrote some great parody lyrics too.
Jinkx: I’m really just saying peoples names and some of them happen to rhyme.
Major: And we do love a good ballad and there’s at least one of those in this this show.
So it’s mostly original music, but any other cover versions?
Jinkx: Yes, we do I Just Wanna Make Love to You, which was made famous by Etta James and You Really Got a Hold On Me, a real standard.
Major: And this show also has a few broadway hits as well.
Does the show remain the same every night?
Jinkx: It’s a scripted show, but we are very aware of our audience, I don’t like working with a forth wall and we do address that in the show. There’s always room for improvisation and live moments that are different every single night.
Tickets from leicestersquaretheatre.com
The album The Ginger Snapped is available now from usual outlets and via jinkxmonsoon.com
The Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, WC2