Len Blanco: Firing Blancs (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Len Blanco: Firing Blancs

Drag king Len Gwyn claps-back at a certain type of insidious modern wannabe

In a community centre on the Pleasance, the basement of a church is doubling as The Palladium for the night, to host the comeback concert of Len Blanco. Len rose to fame as a member of Cardiff boyband M4, we learn, who had a string of hits in the 90s, mostly with the word 'girl' in the title. Drag king Len Gwyn begins by bouncing energetically onstage, barefoot in a slashed to the navel floral shirt, air grabbing and sliding through dance numbers. Like the London deadpan dance troupe Figs in Wigs, who do a brilliant Backstreet Boys drag tribute, Gwyn has clearly studied the dramatic head tilts, smooth groin thrusts and sensual hand movements, nailing the Take That / N-Sync / Boyzone style routines.

Despite Len's most earnest attempts to convince his adoring fans that he's a woke feminist these days (he invites someone in the front row to touch his crystal, and feel the connection), things start smelling a bit off before long. While protesting too much about his veganism, love of patriarchy-smashers The Corrs and genuine devotion to his girlfriend, cracks start to appear in his enlightened veneer. Lip sync, yoga and ad-libs with the audience all help paint the picture of an undercover sleaze, gagging for attention. An excellent, Welsh-accented comedy clap-back at a certain type of insidious modern wannabe, fronting as an innocent romantic and female ally.

Just the Tonic at the Charteris Centre, until 24 Aug, 9.20pm, £5 or pay what you want.

Len Blanco: Firing Blancs

  • 4 stars

Len Blanco Len Blanco's the modern man of your dreams: Woke. Feminist. Vegan (Monday to Thursday). He just wants to talk to you. For God’s sake, let him talk to you. In his musical comedy cabaret, this recovering boy band member and drag king amongst men will be exclusively revealing just how far he’s come since the 90s…