Haven’t we all, on the odd occasion, stood in front of the mirror on a sopping wet Saturday afternoon, stark bollock naked, gazing glumly into the reflection as the mother of all hangovers sweeps over us like what we pitifully assume is akin to the bubonic plague, asking ourselves: who am I?
We’ve all been there-ish.
Armed with just a mic and a few props, Holestar ponders on these personal moments of crisis and realisation in this, her first full length solo show, ‘Sorry I’m a Lady”.
Celebrating ten years as a performer this autobiographical-style show invites us into her world, and like a class of wide-eyed nursery school kids we perched on the floor of the bijou and dimly-lit Vogue Fabrics as she regaled us with the story of how she came to be the underground queer icon she is today.
Interspersed with humorous anecdotes and storytelling, Holestar showed off her magnificent vocals with both popular and self-penned musical numbers, linked to the journey, starting off as a confused young girl who joined the army but was soon to leave the reins of regimentation and conformism. Swapping the company of Colonel Cuntface for the company of sissies as a dominatrix.
As well as touching on some very personal moments in her own life and her angst at some aspects of queer culture, Holestar says it how it is (and how it should be said). Yes, there’s plenty of profanity and stories that’ll open your eyes in amazement but this is the real world and real life. Subjects that, in our very twee British way are still taboo, really should be freely discussed.
The musical monologue on mental health and depression was especially brilliant. The intensity and passion Holestar shows is clearly heightened if you’ve had personal experience, as she has, of an illness that we as a scene, and even as a society, shy away from discussing. And as she quite rightly asks: why do we? Don’t cover up your depression with a weekend on G. Address the problem and help your friends to do the same! It’s refreshing to see someone putting a head above the parapet to highlight the issues of modern gay urban life.
It’s true that everyone has a story to tell but it’s how you tell that story and learn from the journey. Holestar certainly knows how to tell the story in this show, which could have easily benefited from being longer. I left wanting to know more. Which is a very good sign, indeed.
• Cabaret ‘Sorry I’m A Lady’, Vogue Fabrics, 66 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 7XB
Words by Jason Reid
Photos by Rowena Gordon