The Ladyboys of Bangkok are getting ready to whoop it up at Bognor’s Regis Centre with a date on June 5.
Promoter and voice of the show Binky Beaumont said: “The Ladyboys are the best party in town. It’s your chance to sit down and relax and watch a large cast recreate some of your all-time favourite pop songs, all done with a cheeky twist. It is not sexy. It is not rude. It is cheeky – and people absolutely love it.
“A lot of the time the show itself has got a regular audience. We play ten cities in the UK where we regularly sell out. It has been doing the Edinburgh Festival for 21 years, doing 14 shows and always selling out.
“People have perceived ideas and think it is going to be sexy or just old Danny la Rue kind of thing. It is not. It is a fast-paced cabaret show with fantastic sets, fantastic performers, fantastic sound and lighting and fantastic costumes. It is a really good night out.
“It is a full-on cabaret night intertwined with comedy from Ole who is also Thai and also from Little Trevor who is best known as one of Peter Kay’s sidekicks.”
Part of the fun is the breadth of audiences it attracts, Binky says.
“We get all sorts. We get old people, and we get young people. We get ladies’ nights and we get hen parties. And we get groups of men. And you can see husbands shuffling in at the start thinking ‘What have I left myself in for here?’ and then by the interval they are up and dancing. There is a lot of audience participation.
“And then once you have seen it, you will be wanting to come back every year. They are a lovely, lovely group to tour with, and they have been seen in the UK by more than two and a half million people. Over the past 20 years we have probably had 50 or 60 cast members as some of the cast retire, but each year it gets bigger and better. Each year there are more places wanting us to play than we can actually play at.”
As Binky says, it’s all a great chance to escape our humdrum every-day realities, luxuriating instead in a colourful euphoric show bubble of laughter, beauty, glitz and music.
“The Ladyboys of Bangkok was first created about 20 years ago as a fringe show for the Edinburgh Festival. It did six weeks there and did incredible business, basically a cabaret show with a different style. It’s actually 16 Thai males that just happen to be dressed as women. As I say, the whole thing is actually a tribute to the big pop stars, like Kylie Minogue and Rihanna and The Jersey Boys, on fantastic sets – and with more than 400 hand-made costumes created each year for the tour.
“In Thailand, the Ladyboys have been thought of as the third sex. A lot of them are so beautiful people say it changes the way you look at the opposite sex. The illusion they create is amazing, and then they hang up their boobs at the end of the evening and put on jeans and T-shirts and get back to day-to-day living as a male. The transformation they do is incredible. They often practise up to 14 hours a day – though some have had operations, some have had enhancements…”
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