Daddy Drag (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Daddy Drag

credit: Daniel Hughes

Riotous and moving drag tribute to dads of all kinds

'You can call me Daddy', Leyla Josephine raps at the start of Daddy Drag as she introduces her over-the-top, hyper-masculine drag king persona, simultaneously treating the audience to some fine dad dancing and awkward thrusting. The dad jokes and stereotypes are in abundance, from the corny and lewd apron donned in preparation for a 'wee BBQ' to the repeated cries of 'fishing!' when inviting an audience member on an excursion on stage with some cans of Tennent's in tow.

But there's a darker undercurrent running throughout the piece as it's revealed this hilarious buffoon-like character is not all jokes and bad catchphrases. Josephine lays her soul bare in her attempts to explain and come to terms with her relationship with the man that raised her. The voiceovers about his death are at times difficult to hear, made all the more powerful with the knowledge that Josephine has to relive this with each performance.

At the end, she slowly and deliberately scrubs off her make-up stubble, changes out of her male clothes and tidies away the items of stage, perhaps an act of letting go but not entirely moving on. Through pre-recorded clips of interviews with her mum and breaks in character to address him directly, Josephine paints a picture of a conflicted man, with a love and adoration for his family that was often at odds with his actions as a husband and father.

Summerhall, until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), 5.45pm, £10 (£8).

Leyla Josephine: Daddy Drag

Leyla attempts to understand what it means to be a father through her witty performance style, drag costumes and complex but unconditional love for her dad.