“Do you have the socials?” an unsuspecting punter is asked. No, not some new contagion to be wary of, simply a way of finding out if the audience prefers Tik-Tok or Facebook.
Miss Angela Bra (better known as Andy Quirk) is busy holding court on life as a part-time musical teacher, rising social media star, and owner of two cats – Pinot and Grigio – treating us to her very own brand of banter, singing and occasional costume changes.
As with many drag-based acts, the success of these can live and die with the audience interaction and whilst Miss Angela (the full name pronounced like ‘Candelebra’ and just as classy she tells us) does her best with the small but warmly appreciative audience.
You can’t help but wonder though how the act could develop if unleashed on a slightly rowdier crowd where more acid-tongued barbs could be let loose to full effect. (“Don’t get too smug” she tells one couple smiling at the audience’s applause for their 20th anniversary milestone, “we were celebrating four weeks at the last show”).
Instead, we have a friendlier, cleaner whistle-stop tour through songs on Alpha males, shopping at Lidl, yellow discount stickers and hand-sanitiser use amongst others. The lyrics are clever, the singing occasionally off-kilter and the delivery falls somewhere between monologue and stand-up in a way that doesn’t quite hit the mark. A little tightening up could allow the funnier lines of the show to get the recognition they deserve.
But with plenty of audience participation, including Angela’s own amusing take on musical statues, it all in good fun and you won’t begrudge the hour spent in her company.
For more information and show dates for Miss Angela Bra visit Shows (athomewithangelabra.blogspot.com). For further information and the full GM Fringe festival programme visit Greater Manchester Fringe: https://manchester.ssboxoffice.com/events/at-home-with-miss-angela-bra/
Reviewer: Lou Steggals
Reviewed: 1st September 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★