As “The Ladyboys of Bangkok” celebrate their 20th year anniversary, they take to the stage at the Epstein Theatre Liverpool. This show, titled “The Wonder Woman Tour”, shares with the audience a range of tracks from Lady Gaga, Abba, Rihanna, Diana Ross and lots more. Although the show is still managing to attract a great audience, it doesn’t appear to have stood the test of time for me as the performance was underwhelming and unimaginative.

The show features sixteen men performing with the majority being ladyboys and their beauty is something that cannot be argued. They looked amazing with their toned figures, dazzling smiles and revealing costumes and it was extremely difficult to believe that all of them were male. They brought sexiness and sass to the stage but this element of ‘sex appeal’ ran the risk of being too forced and unfortunately this was the case on a number of occasions.

The show is described as being in a cabaret style but what I hadn’t anticipated was that all of the songs were the original tracks poorly mimed by the performers. I appreciate that English is not the first language for most of the cast however the miming was so unbelievable that it was irritating to watch. The Lady Gaga numbers redeemed the show to some extent as they were more authentic and brought some much needed upbeat energy with choreography that could be praised. In between the songs, there were a number of short scenes featuring one of the main Ladyboys ‘Ole’ alongside some of the male cast and a dwarf performer. These scenes were uncomfortable and distasteful as they played on the short statue of the dwarf on many occasions so that he was the butt of too many jokes. I felt that this kind of humour was a thing of the past and it was quite surprising to still see it today. For me, a ladyboy, dressed as Mary Poppins, badly miming “A Spoon Full of Sugar” while pretending to snort cocaine just isn’t funny.

Being a reviewer I have the luxury of seeing a lot of shows in Liverpool and the surrounding areas and unfortunately I do not feel that this performance, with its only unique feature being the showcasing of ladyboys, has enough talent to compete with the entertainment that this city has to offer.

However there is no doubt that the majority of the audience had a fantastic night, there were people all round singing and dancing along to their favourite hits. The “Ladyboys of Bangkok” must be applauded for their sustainability and their achievement of a twenty year anniversary. If you are interested in seeing beautiful ladyboys in sparkly costumes parade around a stage and you are ready for some cheap, tacky entertainment then this is the show for you.

Reviewer: Blathine Maguire

Reviewed: 1st November 2018

North West End Rating: