Review | Gingzilla takes us to church in ‘Live & Loud’

Gingzilla: Live & Loud | The Gold Digger | Until 26 Jan | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Whether you’re the Premier of Western Australia, Karen from the suburbs, or that kid who isn’t sure how they belong in this world, you should see this show. Gingzilla is a 7ft bearded ginger glamazon who can sing!!! More than that, under the sass, attitude, audacity and campiness, Gingzilla has a heart of gold that glitters in the most charming and disarming manner.

Now, Gingzilla was so kind to kick the show off with an explanation for us reviewers as to what expect. Turns out she’s been doing this giggery for four years now, and Live & Loud pays homage to those four formative and transformative years. As such, she traces a story that moves from Sydney to WAAPA, to chasing Ralph Lauren self-help guru Big Daddy to New York, to taking on the world as a cure for heartbreak.

But, to be honest, the importance of a narrative is simply overshadowed by the talent and heart of Gingzilla herself.

Her talent is just… whoa! Like her, it towers. Gingzilla’s vocal range is incredible, moving from cutesy falsetto to the gruff outer suburbs of bogan-speak with such ease it’s completely beguiling. But there must be something about those thigh high red patent boots mixed with that luscious beard that makes Gingzilla thoroughly fearless on stage. As such, she moves from bravado to beauty to the grotesque, all with the bat of an eyelash. And the scoping out of a particularly juicy bulge in the front row.

And then there is the heart. Gingzilla knows that this world, with all its 88 pieces of legislation and same-sex marriage, it still struggles to accept souls like her (and us… all of us rainbow kin). The intimate details of a violent attack in the Cultural Centre were particularly confronting: as a survivor of homophobic violence in Perth’s inner city, I have the utmost respect to Gingzilla opening up a conversation about this and making it known to the audience that this shit still happens. And that we won’t tolerate it anymore.

And then, as if an angel, Gingzilla brings it home by using that voice to take us all to church. Who knew ascension was so pretty.

Honestly, this show is cram-packed with a sluice of anthems, from Sunshine of Your Love to New York, New York. I honestly wish I could list more, but I was just blown away by the vocal prowess of Gingzilla. I don’t think I’ve said “wow” so many times during a show, a show that all of you should go and see. Especially you, Premier Mark McGowan, especially you!!!

See Gingzilla: Live & Loud until 26th January.

Scott-Patrick Mitchell (SPM) is a non-binary performance poet and writer with over 20 years review experience. SPM appears in Contemporary Australian Poetry, won the 2019 Wollongong Short Story Prize and has created such stage works as The 24 Hour Performance Poem.

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