Judging by the crowd which packed the Playhouse Theatre for Bianca Del Rio’s single Canberra performance, the television show, RuPaul’s Drag Race has a lot of viewers in Canberra. Bianca Del Rio was the winner of season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and describes herself as a ‘Clown in a gown’.
The alter ego of seasoned comic, Roy Haylock, a well-known costume designer, Bianca Del Rio is described as an ‘insult comic’, and is known for her foul mouth and unapologetic humour, and was described in the New York Times as ‘The Joan Rivers of Drag’.
She certainly lived up to that reputation during her single Canberra performance, and the packed house loved her for it. A model of inclusiveness, she managed to insult gays, straights, lesbians, the disabled, RuPaul, Courtney Act, her fans and anyone else who crossed her mind. Hilariously hateful, her barbs were so sharp that her victims hardly had time to feel the sting before she zipped on to her next topic. In any case, as she quickly pointed out, she’s the biggest joke of all.
But don’t underestimate Del Rio because behind the potty mouth is a very accomplished stand-up. For the full hour she was on stage her act never flagged for a second. The final section in which she answers questions submitted by the audience was a masterful demonstration of her skill at the quick come-back, so that even her frequent heartfelt references to ‘Cranberry’, instead of Canberra, had her audience in stitches.
Given that her outrageous costume, wig and make-up were all works of art in themselves, it was a pity that the act did not allow for a costume change.
Though this was her first visit to Canberra, one feels it will not be the last we see of Bianca Del Rio, as she hinted during her show that the success of her whirl-wind Australian tour may well herald and invasion of refugees from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Bianco Del Rio – Not Today Satan
Playhouse – Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit, Canberra
Performance: Tuesday 24 May 2016
For more information, visit: www.thebiancadelrio.com for details.
Image: Bianca Del Rio – photo by Magnus Hastings
Review: Bill Stephens