ED FRINGE: Bianca Del Rio: Unsanitized – Pleasance EICC, Edinburgh

Reviewer: Dominic Corr

It’s an underrated skill, to hate with such impunity. It would kill a lesser person. But tonight, you might just be witnessing the next stage of humanity, the paradigm of insult and politically incorrect comedy from the someone who is an absolute (self-processed so we can say this) cunt delight.

If there’s a hero out there who can provide a haven of glory for the spiteful, the vindictive and the callous – Bianca Del Rio is that person. Everyone’s favourite clown in a gown returns to Edinburgh for their first Edinburgh Festival Fringe show. And where previous favourites and winners of the ever-so popular and, frankly, run its course Ru Paul’s Drag Race, there’s always been something special about the style of Drag which Bianca brings to the scene.

Being cooped up for a couple of years really takes it out of yah, and for Bianca, it seems to have made her trademark venom all the more potent. So much so it’s now legally classed as a corrosive material. Bianca’s Unsanitized routine is precisely what one may expect, it’s crass and meanspirited – but it’s also what most of us are thinking. The crowd interaction is spot-on, and what all those sadistic in the front-row paid for. There are no hecklers at a Bianca Del Rio show – there are only victims.

So, for those seeking a tamer, frankly more boring experience, go and check down the road – there’s probably a winner from Season 28 of Drag Race offering a Pay What You Can Show. And for those looking to whine and complain, we implore you to take it up with Bianca directly. Go on, we dare you.

And yes, the jokes are sharp and well-constructed, but the structure of the show aids tremendously in delivery and set-up of the routines. Your usual stand-up routine, peppered with gags concerning the Pandemic, politics, ugly people, children, Anne Frank, yes Anne Frank – it all leads to a brief Q & A. And while the details and answers will remain spoiler-free, all we can say is if you ask something stupid – it’s your own damn fault what happens to you.

There’s a reason Bianca Del Rio is the undisputed and overarching Queen of Drag. There’s a reason they never need to prove anything. The success earned is deserving, the comedy talent evident, and the ticket sales likely booming. Unsanitized is without question an intense and rough ride, and in places vile, vulgar, vicious, and downright vexing.

But frankly, she doesn’t care. Nor should she.

Runs until 27 August 2022

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The Reviews Hub - Scotland

The Scotland team is under the editorship of Lauren Humphreys. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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