Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody

AAR-MICF-Dizney-in-Drag-Once-Upon-a-ParodyMost fairy tales told to children were written hundreds of years ago. Corporations (you know them!) have turned these stories into sanitised family viewing, with animal sidekicks and catchy songs.

However (until Shrek maybe?), aspects of the genre have been slow to evolve. Well, Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody thinks it’s about time that fairy tales got off the, ahem, “straight and narrow” …

The show is from Western Australian company The Hairy Godmothers, and is fresh from an Adelaide Fringe run. As you might expect, the casting is gender flipped, but fairy-tale features remain.

Dizney in Drag is a much more diverse tale than many. This is only partly because characters and references relate to various offerings from a certain animation house’s catalogue.

It was a little unfortunate that the musical backing track drowned out the dialogue (or singing) at times, especially in the first five or so minutes. This probably cursed some potential laughs.

However, the setup looked familiar, so we could get our bearings. A prince (known as “The Hero”, Jae West) is looking for their true love, someone who will perfectly fit the glass slipper left behind. Aha, a quest!

But how to start? Fortunately, there’s THE Hairy Godmother (Owen Merriman, company founder) – a combination of easy-going bushy-bearded bogan, pink beehive hairdo, and capacious frock – to offer guidance, and feature in many of the gags.

Whilst this is a 6:45pm show, it was clear pretty quickly that we shouldn’t expect a G-rated viewing. If that’s no problem, punters will be entertained by The Hero’s encounters with (and lessons from) various almost-familiar characters (played with enthusiasm and commitment by the Cast.

The parodies of familiar songs often went in surprising directions and earned good laughter, and the brightly coloured costumes lent a shimmer to proceedings. The show zipped along like a magic carpet, and vocals were satisfying additions to scenes. All players performed their choreography as if the future of the mystical land of the Capitol Theatre depended on it.

Given this commitment to storytelling, an audience will surely find that fairy tales can never be the same again. If you want your MICF to have a happy ending, then Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody is a sure way to sprinkle some pixie dust on one of the few remaining evenings left in the 2023 tale.

Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody
Capitol Theatre, 113 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Performance: Wednesday 19 April 2023 – 6:45pm
Season continues to 23 April 2023
Information and Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au

Image: Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody – courtesy of The Hairy Godmothers

Review: Jason Whyte