Due to work I normally didn't have the right days off/finish earlier enough etc to attend any shows. Now, because of my super middle of the city centre location I can waltz out of work (perhaps a slight over-exaggeration) and into the festival crowds. Otherwise if I'm not quite up for doing this after work (I'm never up for doing things after work - but I appreciate the option) then I can book things in advance on my days off. This suits me just fine.
Last year was the first year since I was a full-time student that I'd managed to go to a show, and did it not just happen to be The Ladyboys of Bangkok. Well... I was fairly sure it wasn't going to be my thing but the ticket was cheap, a bunch of people from work were going and why not. Well? I loved it.
It was all the sparkle and cringe-worthy humour of a drag act. Men from the audience were pulled up on stage to thunderous applause while beautiful Thai ladyboy's pranced around them. Safe to say I spent the entire night in awe... 1. Because there is a lot of sparkle and 2. Because I was trying to find any hint that these ladyboy's were indeed men. I failed.
So as the Edinburgh festival came around again this year I was determined to see some shows. If you've ever seen the festival brochue you will understand what a mind-boggling creation it is. Reams and reams of paper are put into creating this beast of a magazine, adverts upon adverts for shows, so much so you go semi-blind from trying to read all the teeny tiny print. It is a battle ground for custom, each show competing and if you don't know who any of these people are (that'd be me) then it's just a giant glossy stack of confusion. To be honest it really puts me off because I just can't figure out what would be decent and what wouldn't.
One show however was tried and tested. Itison - a fabulous website with a variety of local package offers - had a deal: buy a ticket to see The Ladyboy's, get premium seating and a delicious Thai meal at the venue - which is actually really delicious and freshly cooked - so I was in. Two tickets thank you very much.
The only problem I had was that Sean was 100% against going, which he held to. So eventually I gave in and instead took one of my besties - the one thing about women, we're much more willing to give shows like this a chance. I'm not sure what it is with men but they wince at the term "Ladyboy's" or "Drag queens" and will do whatever they can to not have to go and be near them. Their loss really!
So this year, Jenni spent the entire time trying to find the flaw that gave the game away with the Ladyboy's, while I envied their make-up. Typical females, in the break when you can go get your picture taken with some of the Ladyboy's, we sat and discussed - not only - their costumes and make-up, but what a poor comparison the British populus (that went to get a photo taken) were next to these four beautiful men.
They truly are beautiful - as you can see from the photos - but trying to picture them without make-up and wigs is the hardest part! I wholly admit there was one particularly beautiful Ladyboy this year that I could not find a single flaw on - perfect teeth, hair, make-up looked almost natural! It was quite a feat and I'm confident enough to say, I definitely had a bit of a crush on her...him... It's a confusing world we live in!
The great thing is the huge element of comedy that they've wrapped into the show, along with beautiful ladyboy's, there is a general carry on. Dresses falling off, horrendous lip-syncing, a fire-breathing midget, and I think 6 or 7 men from the audience brought up onto stage to be danced with, kissed, dressed up as a woman, stripped - it's just generally nose-snortingly hilarious fun.
Whoever you are, wherever you are from, whatever you are or aren't offended by - just once in your life give in to temptation and go to see The Ladyboys of Bangkok. You may or may not be disappointed, but you will not forget it!