Help! I think I Might Be Fabulous
- Arusa Qureshi
- 4 August 2019
Sequinned and uplifting foray into the world of the drag prince
As the son of a drag queen, Alfie Ordinary lives a truly fabulous life. Decked out in sequins and a platinum bowl cut, sparkly backpack and keyboard in tow, he invites the audience to spend an hour with him as he regales entertaining tales about his days at Madame LeCoq's Prep School for Fabulous Boys.
Help! I Think I Might Be Fabulous is an insight into a world where your teachers encourage you to be your most fabulous self and each assembly begins with a school-wide rendition of 'I Am What I Am'. But with Alfie's 'muggle-born' classmate John having to hide his sequinned uniform from his parents every day, the drag prince takes it upon himself to provide some much-needed support so that John doesn't have to be ashamed of who he is.
With the help of Whitney Houston and Bette Midler (as puppets), and some stunning versions of songs by Sugababes, The Village People and Christina Aguilera, Alfie encourages John to embrace his fabulousness and in turn reveals how important it is to be accepting in a world that doesn't always promote such ideals.
Life may be sequinned and full of song for Alfie, but the uplifting and hilarious stories are matched by truly poignant moments in which we see the impact of being true to yourself regardless of society's limitations. The interlude where Alfie admits to being a fan of football, asking Siri to explain the off-side rule, for example, is a sharp and inventive flipping of the traditional coming out narrative.
Spending an hour in Alfie's world is refreshing, with the pressures and restrictions of heteronormativity slipping away as this utterly charming character embodies self-acceptance, inspiring others to do the same. There may be a twist here that when revealed, adds a touch of sadness to the show, but the overall message is made all the more powerful as a result.
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, until 25 Aug, 6pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).