Pageant: Review by Stephen Vowles plus BOYZ TICKET OFFER

What’s so clever about Pageant is its close proximity to the truth that  will have you gasping. This fabulous and very camp homage to the world of the American Beauty pageant is so rich in satire, pulsating with an energy that has the cast so perfect in their respective roles relishing the schmaltz and kitsch  of the whole  damn show. This is the story of six regional heat winners: Miss Great Plains, played by a scene-stealing Alex Anstey, Kevin Grogan as a very nimble on her feet and slightly manic Miss West Coast, Nic  Chiappetta as Miss Industrial Northwest whose lust for life borders on the insane, Jonni Gatenby as the sinister and rather manipulative tap dancing cowgirl from Texas, John McManus as Miss Bible Belt whose powerhouse vocals took the roof of the place. And lastly the very watchable  and tantalising Miss Deep South played with such an air of deliberate sexy bravado by Adam O’Shea who as regional winners are now up for the supreme title of Miss Glamorous. Along the way they have to take part in various rounds including evening gown, talent, swimwear, physical fitness and beauty crisis counselling. Book and lyrics by Bill Russell and Frank Kelly, music by Albert Evans and conceived by Robert Longbottom this is also a statement about American life and to some extent the  drama and challenges that present themselves. The star turn though belongs to Miles Western as MC Frankie Cavilier, a smarmy lecherous host, a non self-effacing  clown. The false sincerity his character possesses is comedy gold and beautifully evokes men of that type. This is a full on pastiche, excellent fly on the wall send up. Surreal in places, a beautiful bitch fest. I did indeed feel passion for Pageant. Think Mean Girls meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and you have it.


SPECIAL BOYZ TICKET OFFER: Promo code for Boyz readers for Saturday 26th August. Ticket promo code is  BOYZREADERS. Ticket price £12. 20% off. Go to

Performances on Thursday 24th, Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August at the London Irish Centre.

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