After an amazing response last year we are once again resurrecting our Brighton Bites mini-interviews. These short and snappy Q&As offer an, occasionally witty – often hilarious, insight into the acts strutting, sailing, surfing (insert preferred form of transport here) in to join the line-up of England’s largest arts festival, Brighton Fringe. 2018 was a record-breaking year for the Fringe with over 575,000 people attending the festival; and with 2019 promising to be more inclusive than ever, our Bites aim to give you a taste of what’s in store across the 4,500+ events and performances that are on offer.
Last but definitely not least for today, The Lady Boys of Bangkok tell us about their Greatest Showgirls Tour which they’ll be performing at the Sabai Pavillion.
Describe your show in one sentence?
16 of the world’s most beautiful showgirls… who just happen to be men!
Why Brighton Fringe?
We’ve been coming to the Brighton Fringe for many years, it’s a real highlight of our tour calendar. The excitement in Brighton for the Lady Boys is clear to see from the moment our pink Sabai Pavilion goes up. The people here have always embraced the Lady Boys’ very unique blend of glamour, cabaret and comedy and love our tributes to the world’s biggest divas. Even people who haven’t seen the show before, within 10 minutes they’re rising to their feet and raising the roof – we’re not exaggerating when we say it’s the biggest party in town!
How did the show get to where it is today?
The Lady Boys of Bangkok started out as a small show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1998, after artistic director Phillip Gandey decided to bring a taste of the kathoey revue shows he’d discovered during a visit to Bangkok, to the west. It became a bona fide cult hit, and is now celebrating its 21st anniversary, touring the UK for nine months each year.
What do you think sets your show apart from all the other festival offerings?
The Lady Boys of Bangkok is the UK’s number one touring cabaret show, seen by over 3 million people. We think that speaks for itself – it’s not just the novelty of knowing the ‘lady boys’ are men that keeps people coming back. Being a Lady Boy is a lifestyle, they are dedicated performers and there’s an intense audition process to be part of the show. Every year there’s new costumes, new routines, even more glamour and laugh-out-loud moments. Twenty-one years on, there’s still nothing like it!
What show do you not want to miss at this year’s Brighton Fringe (apart from your own!)?
We like the sound of Bla Bla Land – a completely different show to ours but the idea of a different musical being created impromptu each night sounds very cool.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, or would give, for performing at a fringe festival?
Be completely uncompromising. Often it gets to a point in The Lady Boys of Bangkok where people forget they’re even watching men!
With the theme of this year’s festival being ‘DARE to Discover’, we’d like you to tell us a TRUTH – something about you or the show that fans may not know.
This is a very exciting year for The Lady Boys of Bangkok because we have three stunning new cast members who we can’t wait to unleash in Brighton!
The Lady Boys of Bangkok – The Greatest Showgirls Tour runs at Brighton Fringe from 3 May – 2 June 2019. Brighton Fringe takes place between 3 May – 2 June 2019; www.brightonfringe.org
Nicole Craft | Image: Contributed