|Steve and I recently went to see The Lady Boys of Bangkok in Manchester. I had seen them four or five times over the last few years and couldn’t wait. Unfortunately, for the first time, I was to be disappointed.
It started with an embarrassing experience with a rude Door Supervisor. He checked my bag and said that I couldn’t take in a bottle of Lucozade. I explained that I had diabetes. To which he wanted to see a medical card. I showed him one and then he wanted to see tablets (I had to explain that I was on injectable insulin and showed him this). He still looked unsure about whether to let me in or not. So I said, ‘Look if I have a hypo I need sugar quick. I wont be able to make it to the bar. I’ll be on the floor having a seizure and foaming at the mouth.’ What made it embarrassing was his lack of knowledge about diabetes, his attitude and the growing queue of people behind us.
I wasn’t going to judge the production based on the experience I’d had with the Door Supervisor. However the shows atmosphere wasn’t as fabulous as it has been in the past. The Lady Boys cast seemed unhappy. They smiled throughout the show, but the smiles never seemed to meet their eyes. Their costumes were less glamorous, looking cheap at times and there weren’t many opportunities to see the Lady Boys in showoff their wonderful selves.
The audio quality was poor on some tracks, there were some odd choices of songs and some great songs that they only played clips of.
The set was satisfactory. The choreography was fun. Not all performers had perfected their choreography, but this didn’t matter to the audience. The choreography did become repetitive in the second half and had too much use of jazz hands.
The lip syncing has improved year on year, and this year all of the Lady Boys had it spot on. The comedy elements of the show remain as funny as ever, however I was unsure about the humour derived through use of the dwarf.
I desperately wanted the show to be as magical, glorious and brilliant as it had been in the past. But it simply wasn’t. It lacked its special sparkle that makes The Lady Boys of Bangkok production unique. Overall Steve and I had a good time, but I don’t intend on seeing future shows until I’ve got over the disappointment. This is likely to take at least the next few years.