Len Blanco: Firing Blancs
- Claire Sawers
- 23 August 2019
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.