The Kinsey Sicks: Drag Queen Storytime Gone Wild!

Singing prowess, lyrical dexterity and political punch

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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The Kinsey Sicks
Photo by Lois Tema
Published 06 Aug 2023

It’s unbelievable that this could be anything more than a hackneyed line from a hack critic, let alone a statement of political intent: if you don’t have fun at The Kinsey Sicks’ Drag Queen Storytime Gone Wild!, you’ve got a problem. If you can’t find a sliver of joy in the playfulness of drag and/or the tight harmonies of four male voices, well, for starters, you probably wouldn’t have bought a Kinsey Sicks ticket.

The quartet have been doling out “dragapella” and double-entendres for more than a double decade. There’s no trickery here. Except, maybe there is. In an attempt to sneak round the new censoriousness of the “Ron DeSantis elementary school”, the quad have ditched sequins for a school ma’mish vibe and have, somehow, found themselves in the role of educators, trying hopelessly not to say gay. It’s an open goal of a conceit which the Sicks have little problem knocking their balls through. It’s a fairly thin conceit, too, and the weak linking sections serve only to provide tortuous segues to the next, thankfully, innuendo-laden song. Eventually and inevitably, they go too far – delightfully, that line is crossed with a showstopping rendition of ‘Poof the Magic Dragon’, a heartfelt and hopeful rumination on the way drag expands our imaginative horizons.

Not every song is a winner and, surprisingly, their harmonies aren’t as consistently tight as their stage-work. The opener, a sequence of rejigged nursery rhymes, is often musically muddy. They are at their best, though, with a MAGA-baiting version of The Little Mermaid classic, ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’, itself a nod to the drag history. It’s a perfect combination of their grasp of the art form, singing prowess, lyrical dexterity and political punch. And preaching, perfectly, to the choir.