Walking through Leicester Square last night en route to a post-show tincture the Whingers were discussing the square’s new look. Phil related a story about how he was criticising the square’s new metal railings to a friend, not realising he was talking to the person behind its redesign. Oops.
Phil then rambled on about the new(ish) look of Kensington High Street and how it has a very clean feel. “Your mother would like it” replied Andrew sagely.
Andrew is often telling Phil, “You sound like your mother” despite never having met her. Both Whingers spent the Mothering Sunday weekends with their respective mothers and Phil can confirm that he becomes more like her with each passing day. Andrew is probably making the transformation as well (hopefully into his own mother, not Phil’s), but has yet to admit it.
Anyway, in Fruit Fly, Leslie Jordan (Will and Grace‘s Beverley Leslie) asks if it is the fate of all gay men to turn into their mothers and by illustrating his show with some fabulous family photographs he makes a pretty good case.
Some of the outfits he wore in childhood are worth the price of admission alone. With these images from his Deep South past projected behind him (often in “winter whites”) he reflects on why he became “such a people-pleaser” who “always loved accessories” then takes us on a tour of his childhood obsessions and a flurry of anecdotes from trips to the hairdressers with his ma to later taking his twin sisters and mother on a gay cruise where his mother became Queen of the Ship on a ship full of queens.
We enthused about the genial Mr Jordan when we saw his My Trip Down the Pink Carpet on both sides of the Atlantic and it was easy to warm to him again here. Although the new show isn’t quite as tight as that one it is still a frequently hilarious 90 minute discourse which manages to be occasionally touching without slipping uncomfortably into mawkishness. Jordan clearly loves his mother and it’s easy to see why. She becomes a distinctive and likable second character in this one-man show. All this and a new and exciting lesson in fabulous fashions thanks to the mention of toreador pants.
The easy-to love-Leslie Jordan is on until Saturday at the less easy-to-love Leicester Square Theatre.
We can confirm he’s definitely a people-pleaser.
And unlike The Book of Mormon, you can take your mother. And probably should. But not ours.
Fruit Fly is preceded by an entirely superfluous half hour set from “London’s hottest male female close harmony singing group” The Supreme Fabulettes. They come on at 7.30 and we suggest you arrive at 8pm and enjoy Mr Jordan straight through..
Rating (for Fruit Fly)