From their first song to the last there were plenty of cheers, lots of laughs and even a few tears as the entertainer presented the 50-minute cabaret show Happy Ending.
Through original and popular songs and some rather saucy commentary and even more salacious moves, audiences learnt of some of the humorous and tragic events to impact the the performer’s life.
These events included run-ins with a dangerous criminal and a dentist. Then there were the devastating impacts of being in a highly abusive relationship. While some of these events were obviously very traumatic it was evident hope was the key message they were espousing. And the importance of the love and support of family.
This message and the use of comedy to tell of some experiences ensured the vibe of the show was generally upbeat and resulted in the almost continual laughs from the audience, many of whom seemed to be long time Leather Lungs fans.
For those of us new to a Leather Lungs’ show the performer’s vocal range was the greatest surprise. Having listened to the performance of original songs and classics from the likes of Aretha Franklin, ABBA, Whitney Houston and Queen, it’s easy to see why Leather Lungs alter-ego, Jason Chasland, has been in such demand as a singer. Chasland has an extremely powerful voice that spans four octaves and expertly and emotionally presents musical styles ranging from jazz to hard rock to haunting ballads.
Highlights of the show included Somebody to Love, R.E.S.P.E.C.T, The Winner Takes it All and The Voice while a humorous version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm had the audience in fits of laughter.
It’s fair to say as a result of the language and on-stage moves Happy Ending isn’t for the prudish (the show’s MA 15+ Fringe Festival rating is understandable). However, as the opening night audience demonstrated, for those who love a show combining song, comedy and drag delivered from the heart it’s a hit.
*Jenny Burns attended the opening night of Leather Lungs: Happy Ending as a guest of the producers.
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