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Stage Editorial

ladyboys17.jpg The boys are back in gowns

Sure signs of autumn: I’m surreptitiously sticking the heating on against the express wishes of my partner; shops have been stocking Christmas stuff for at least six weeks; and 16 men in dresses so lavish that they make Katy Perry look like she’s auditioning for a part in The Handmaid’s Tale are all set to offer rare thrills in Newcastle once again. Time to let those Lady Boys of Bangkok back into your life.

I love the fact that The Lady Boys of Bangkok have become part of the fixtures and fittings of Newcastle for a whole month each autumn, and I’m always on tenterhooks to see what they choose for their theme each year. Yep – among all those 450, hand-sewn costumes, feathers and cheeky wiggles – they have a theme and in 2017 they’re asking: Who Runs The World? Now, if you’re expecting this show to be a stinging expose of the sundry oligarchs who pull Donald Trump’s strings, then be prepared to row back on those expectations; this isn’t going to be Newsnight in fancy frocks.

They say: “Elections and referendums may come and go, but in the stakes for the best party night out in town, there’s no doubt where the popular vote goes. Who Runs The World is not a political question – it’s a positive celebration of the fair sex performed by 16 of Thailand’s most alluring and stunning Lady Boys”. So a massive party with men in knickers, then.

If you’ve not availed yourself of the delights of a Lady Boy before then you should know that these shows combine all the glitz of Las Vegas with the allure of classic Hollywood - by way of the best traditions of British music hall - as the 16 performers pay tribute to a host of stars including Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Gloria Gaynor, Fifth Harmony, Boy George, Pitbull, Tom Jones, Queen Latifah, and many more. It’s all performed in their own Sabai Pavilion that provides a spacious, yet intimate, cabaret venue.

Step inside and you’ll be transported to a corner of Bangkok, with the aroma of freshly prepared Thai cuisine filling the air (you can purchase meals when booking tickets if you wish); and two well-stocked bars will help keep the party going. It’s not a political party, but it is guaranteed to be a landslide win for fun.

The Lady Boys of Bangkok, Saturday 9 September-Saturday 7 October, The Sabai Pavilion, Times Square, Newcastle, Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs 7pm, Fri 6.45pm & 9pm, Sat 4.30pm, 6.45pm, 9pm, Sun 7pm (except Sun 24 Sept & Sun 1 Oct – 4.30pm & 7pm). No shows on 11, 18 & 25 September. Adults £19.50/students £15. Premium seats £30, platinum seats £34 (champagne table £400). All seats Sunday 10 September £10 (2 for 1 all seats each Tuesday). 0871 705 0705. ladyboysofbangkok.co.uk