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Fringe Review: Prom Kween @ Assembly George Square Gardens

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Entering the Piccolo venue, you are immediately transported to a carnival scene… but instead of typical circus music in the background, your favourite pop classics are playing.

From the moment the audience begins to stream into the venue, the cast of Prom Kween begins to mingle amidst the gathering crowd, providing glitter as well as some fabulous dance moves.

Images courtesy of Emery PR

The show is steeped in pop-culture references, varied enough to please every single audience member, while tackling the prejudices faced by those who do not fit the gender-normative expectations of society.

For most of the performance, the audience are singing, dancing and clapping along with the cast. The one individual who was brought up on stage fearlessly took to the role he was given, much to the surprise of both the audience and the cast themselves. His acting was superb and his dancing spectacular – clearly the wonderful energy of the cast is infectious.

The plot follows a group of high-schoolers who are heavily invested in the race for Prom Queen. Playing on the typical high-school stereotypes, these characters slowly break the mould and reveal their true selves through fantastic musical numbers.

There were a few characters and songs which missed the mark, causing more offence than awareness. The questionable impression of a homophobic gospel preacher from America’s South was not very appropriate – battling stereotypes with other stereotypes is perhaps not the most effective way to build solidarity, particularly with such an international audience.

Hopefully the cast are simply demonstrating the ridiculous nature of stereotypes, exaggerating the traits of these biased images, but this intention was not entirely clear.

Putting the problematic characters aside, the performance is rooted in solidarity and inclusivity, concluding with a powerful, compassionate message.

A fun and fabulous evening show for all to enjoy, Prom Kween is well worth a watch at this year’s Fringe.

Prom Kween is at Assembly George Square Gardens, Piccolo (Venue 3) 21.05, August 14-26. For more information and tickets click here.

This article is part of our coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Click here to read other articles written by our contributors. 
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