REVIEW: Rob Madge - My Son's A Queer, But What Can You Do? | Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022
"A love letter to their parents and family, a celebration of queerness, and a guide of how to encourage and support your queer loved ones."
Rob Madge: My Son’s A Queer (But What Can You Do) is an award-winning autobiographical show where they take you on their journey from theatrical toddler to treading the boards as a West End teen.
The show begins with Rob explaining that when they were 12, they tried in earnest to put on a Disney parade in their living room but as they put it, it “went awry” …and they have proof. Rob introduces us to their younger self through old home videos on VHS, photos, school reports, and accessories from their past.
Most home videos featured Rob’s dad, Jon, who frequently did not measure up to Rob’s ludicrously yet hilariously exorbitant entertainment standards.
It was clear from the get-go that Rob was a child of their own mind. But the story also had its antagonists in the form of unhelpful comments from teachers, beatings from school bullies, and the pressure to be less queer.
What is one to do when even their school tries to discourage their theatricality? Their family ramps up the love and support and encouragement for Rob to continue being exactly as they are.
The staging is simple yet effective and is reminiscent of a typical 90s living room, and the songs pay a great tribute to Disney and Rob’s imagination.
As the show nears its end, we are reminded as to why Rob has invited us into their living room. It’s time for their Disney Parade as they had envisioned it all those years ago. A spectacular finale indeed.
Rob Madge: My Son’s A Queer (But What Can You Do) is fundamentally, a love letter to their parents and family, a celebration of queerness, and a guide of how to encourage and support your queer loved ones. Rob will have you laughing, crying, laugh-crying, and cry-laughing. This is a must-see show. Please come back real soon, Rob!
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