My Son’s a Queer (But what can you do?) by Rob Madge. The Ambassadors Theatre, West Street, London WC2 to 18 March 2023. 4****. William Russell.

Back by popular demand this beguiling look at his life illustrated by clips from the scenes shot when they were a little boy by his parents who indulged their passion for dressing up and putting on shows really does fall into the unmissable category. One to collect. The only problem – I saw it with an audience most of whom who clearly had seen it before probably more than once so that it was a bit like a gathering of chums and it would have been good, and good for Madge as a performer, to have seen them cope with one a little less predisposed to having a love in. That they would have risen to the challenge I have no doubt. The video clips are projected on a vast screen behind him as in their underwear – and occasionally a dress – they tell their story and we see the rather sweet little boy playing with their puppet theatre, dressing up, getting the chance to be one of the chimney sweep children in Mary Poppins and coping with being that bit different. Madge has gone on to a career in the theatre and this show started life on the fringe at Edinburgh and had a stint last year at the Garrick. The influences on the young Madge seem to be mostly Disney – an earlier Madge might have gone for Carmen Miranda – and theyy clearly had understanding parents although less understanding teachers. Truth to tell – Gay’s the word. It ends with some rather spectacular drag in which dress after dress is pulled off, some nice songs get sung and Madge’s invitation to their world is one to accept with alacrity.

Written and performed by Rob Madge.

Director: Luke Sheppard.

Songs; Pippa Cleary.

Set & Costume Design: Ryan Dawson Laight.

Video Design: George Reeve.

Lighting Design: Jai Morjaria.

Sound Design: Tingying Dong.

Orchestration: Simon Nathan.

Production photograph: Mark Senior.

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