One of the reasons I picked God Is a Scottish Drag Queen as one of my Fringe shows to see – besides its name – was that the press materials said that it was created by the performer, Mike Delamont, in collaboration with Jacob Richmond from Ride The Cyclone, and I had heard such rave reviews about Ride The Cyclone. By the time I actually went to see the show this afternoon I had forgotten that entirely, and my expectations were based on the title alone, so I was a little bit surprised when it started and I began to realize that Mike Delamont didn’t seem to be actually Scottish, or actually a drag queen.
But I hadn’t expected him to actually be God, so I wasn’t disappointed enough to ruin my enjoyment of the show. That was good because he’s a pretty funny guy.
None of his jokes were genius, but he has great delivery and great interaction and engagement with the audience. This is stand-up, not a totally scripted one-man show, so don’t be surprised if he points to you and asks you a question. Just answer as best you can and he’ll take it up from there.
A lot of the humour came simply from the incongruity of the character, as described in the title. While I never think the old “man in a dress” trope is funny in itself – and can actually be offensive to trans/genderqueer people and their allies – this never went down that road. And when you have a guy in a floral skirt suit talking about wearing Spanx and smiting cities in the same sentence, what can you do but laugh?
For a gender-bending version of the Christian God, his material is surprisingly uncontroversial. Quite the opposite, in that he errs a bit on the preachy side with “just be good to one another” exhortations near the end. Still, if you’re red-headed and/or Irish and likely to be offended by jokes about those things, maybe skip this show. I’m of Irish descent, and fine with some light-hearted ribbing about it, so I was fine.
This show is likely to be different every night, but I was very pleased that Delamont included my favourite horror story from the Bible – Sodom and Gomorrah – because so many people don’t know the actual events of that tale. And they’re awful, which makes them great material for comedy.
This show won’t change the world, but I can’t help thinking that if there were a God and they really were a Scottish drag queen, then the world would be a better place.
- God Is a Scottish Drag Queen plays at the Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst St
- Performances are:
July 05 08:45 PM
July 06 01:45 PM
July 07 01:15 PM
July 09 08:45 PM
July 11 05:45 PM
July 12 04:00 PM
July 13 11:30 PM
- Tickets for all Mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only.
- Advance tickets are $11, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062 ext. 1), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West)
- Money-saving value packs are also available; see website for details.
- LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.
Photo of Mike Delamont provided by the company