England, the near future, post-Armageddon.
A merry if dysfunctional band of surviving queers take over the TV station and recreate their all time favourite programme Club Queereteria, broadcast live from the ruins of an infamous cruising club. State-sanctioned entertainer Torsten (Andy Bell) emerges from his sedated stupor to remember times past and lovers lost, and to re-unite adversaries to resist a terrifying future!
Queertopia TV tells the story of a post post-apocalyptic world cause by a drag queen giving head to a member of the royal family, accidently hitting the nuclear button whilst doing so, and therefore ending the world. She is now the star of the only tv show left in the world, Queereteria TV.
Matthew Balding plays the woman in question; Lady Domina Bizarre, and his performance is a real stand out. He’s a natural entertainer and his energy really helps to break down the wall with the audience quickly and get them on side. As out there as Lady Bizarre is she anchors and guides the whole show, often by use of Balding’s exceptional improvisational skills when things go awry. By contrast Andy Bell’s delivery was rather flat at times although his musical moments as the singer Torsten did play to his true talent. Peter Straker’s delivery is unique and endeering however his reliance on reading from the script at times takes the audience out of the moment and breaks the flow which otherwise spoils a great performance.
The storyline itself is crazy, confusing and pretty much non-existent by the second half, and yet somehow this doesn’t seem to get in the way of the audience’s enjoyment. The dialogue is fast paced, highly articulate and almost like poetry at times. It’s contrast of talking about R rated subjects in such an eloquent way feels rather Russell Brand-esque and it is a joy to listen to.
The use of AV really helps elevate the show, with both the sound design and visual graphics really adding an otherworldly, futuristic feel that really helps to help sell the wider world of it.
Overall this show needs some work but there are some really joyous moments and strong material here. It feels like a 1980’s kids show on acid and despite its flaws it has a core bizarre energy and rock ‘n’ roll feel that you can’t help but fall in love with. At times you can’t quite tell if you are laughing at it or with it, but either way it’s one if the funnest shows I’ve seen in awhile. In short it’s a show on a knife edge and with songs such as ‘Blow Jobs for Cocaine’, ‘Knowing Good Men from Perverts’ and ’He Wants Vagina’ you know you are in for a theatre trip like no other!
Queereteria TV is on at the Above the Stag Theatre until the 28th of April, tickets are £28 and can be purchased from the Above the Stag website.