It’s a bit cabaret, a bit vaudeville, a bit burlesque and totally sensational! The Thailand Ladyboy Superstars is a hand-selected troupe of the best female impersonators from Thailand’s competitive and illustrious circuit.
Director Damian Syred was so impressed by the performances he saw in Thailand that he decided to create an all-star line-up and bring it to Australia.“I myself had never seen a show like this before going to Thailand,” he said. “I went to the different shows and there were key performers who stood out at each.”
Touring with a group of twenty four dancers, over 400 fabulous costumes, elaborate sets and a small army of crew is precisely as difficult as it sounds.
“The Thais don’t think they will ever leave Thailand. A lot of the performers didn’t have passports and there was a language barrier,” said Syred. But it all came together: “They all loved it when they saw their first kangaroo!”
There’s a lot of sewing and last minute alterations in dressing rooms; 200 of the costumes are used in the shows and the rest, which are not quite as intricate, are used for street promotions and publicity.
They also have a resident Thai chef who cooks for the cast as well as providing the menu at the shows.
The shows include dance, lip sync and comedy. There is a traditional Thai song featuring stunning traditional outfits and pop power hits from artists such as Tina Turner and Kylie Minogue. The comedy includes (believe it or not) a scene from The Titanic, with performers interacting with members of the audience.
The show was designed for an adult audience but Syred said people do sometimes bring children: “There’s no nudity or anything, so there’s no reason why not.”
Syred says the response so far has been overwhelming – “People get blown away by the costumes and a lot of people say they’ll come and see it again.” (RB)
May 26–Jun 19 (Tues–Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm + 4.30pm, Sun 1.30pm + 5pm). The Big Top, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park. $49-$109. Tickets & info: ladyboycabaret.com.au
BY RITA BRATOVICH