Binge Fringe Magazine

REVIEW: The Enby Show, Carrot, VAULT Festival ★★★★☆

Spring has sprung aborad The Enby Show, and we are promised an hour of regen(d)eration to fit the season of new beginnings. And boy, does that flower bloom! An hour of all-in, full pelt queer joy, The Enby Show is gender-defiant cabaret with equal measures of conscience and play. Respect for each other is at the heart of what our host Carrot strives for – with a more than sizeable dose of dips, dives and drag ending in a mass karaoke reclaimed Cheeky Girls singalong. If you want to see the best non-binary talent that London has to offer, this is the home of it.

The self-admittedly slightly slipshod theme holding the pieces together is Spring, and we’re treated quickly to the four stars of the show buzzing around in (en)bee costumes, welcoming in the new season with silly rhymes and sordid dance moves. Carrot takes care to welcome everyone in the space, with clear rules about not assuming pronouns and an arm signal that audience members can do if they don’t want to participate in any crowd work, although the crowd work is lighthearted and full of frolick and fancy rather than extending to full involvement of the audience. A place for new beginnings, Carrot makes the expression of the non-binary identity joyful, with the perspective of the cabaret offering up a chance for reclamation, liberation and vindication. Above everything else though, the performers take as much care in looking after us as they do in making us laugh, gasp and snap along to some jaw-dropping variety.

Demonstrating a thorough range of cabaret styles, the first performer Lusty Lovelace crawls onto stage with a full-face mask and a routine that dallies in the imagery of kink with long ropes emerging from places within their costume you wouldn’t think it possible. The style is alternative and fresh, with Lovelace able to capture the audience’s attention despite not speaking a single word in their act. The performance is an animalistic, bodily ritual wrapped up in the atmosphere of intrigue and the vibes of an off-the-wall burlesque piece.

Flick soon enters the stage in full drag Jesus get up – swatting away taboo around the queer identity with boisterous stage presence and a hilariously gay perspective on faith. As we see Jesus rack through a series of 80s tunes there’s light dustings of audience participation to invite you in. Flick is an effervescent presence on the stage, inviting everyone in with their charm and spirited dedication to the wacky and wild corners of drag performance.

Cyro takes the final slot of the night, sending the audience into a riproaring frenzy with loud beats and louder dance moves. Their ability to throw, dip and drop their body around the stage in a way that commands the attention of everyone in the room is insanely mesmerising. By this point, the audience are either on their feet or whooping, cheering and snapping from the back benches. The show has a remarkable synthesis of celebrating and making gleeful a range of gender non-conforming identities and expressions.

The grand finale of Carrot delivering a slam poem dedication to queer liberation barely leaves a dry eye in the room, to the backing track of a Florence and the Machine classic. Everyone there is validated, respected and made to feel part of a symphony of revellers defying the trappings of gender conformity.

Bodacious and inclusive, brass and yet welcoming – this is a space for everyone to liberate themselves of any doubt and submit to a verve of talent and triumph.

Recommended Drink: In the spirit of spring, The Enby Show is a white rabbit cocktail – flush, full of life and invitingly drinkable.

Catch The Enby Show on the 4th March at 20:00 at the Flair Ground. Tickets are available through the VAULT Festival Box Office.

Jake Mace

Edinburgh-based Editor-in-Chief. Jake is a prolific writer, known for putting together novel-length reviews that try to heat-seek the essence of everything they watch. Jake is interested in New Writing, 20th Century Adaptations, Musicals and Comedy. They particularly cover Nationality, Identity, Automation, Technology and the Post-Soviet Space. Their favourite drink is a North East IPA.

Pronouns: They/Them
Festivals: Edinburgh Fringe (2018-2022), Brighton Fringe (2019), Paris Fringe (2020), VAULT Festival (2023)