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Review: 'Scottee - Eat Your Heart Out' words by Anna Leach

Hackney Empire 11th July 09

“Scottee doesn’t like it when men in wigs lip synch – so that’s what I’m gonna do” said one of Scottee Scottee’s performers in his performance art variety show Eat Your Heart Out.  

And several of them did just that. My favourite wig-wearing lip-syncher was Nando, a very skinny boy in a shirt who kept his eyes covered by an amazing fringe wig while mouthing to French opera with a magnifying glass over his lipstick-smeared lips.  

Less wig-heavy acts that were good included Masumi Tipsy: a girl dressed in some sort of nightie clutching a teddy and eating an apple like a Korean toddler with motor neurone disease shaking to an emo lullaby. As the music switched over to fidget house, she had some kind of slo-mo onstage panic attack and the teddy went flying.   

Miss Annabel managed to do such convincing impressions of Edith Piaf and Noel Coward, that I completely thought she was two different people. She also cleared the stage of microphones in the manner of Noel Coward, which was a superior achievement of impersonation.  

All the varying performances were glued together with interludes of Scottee himself. Each break brought him back with different pieces of cloth, plastic and hair garlanding, clinging to, and even expanding off his plump frame. 

Scottee can hold a stage. His charisma is slightly terrifying – he wheedles you in with sugary words and his sweet little podgy face then snaps back on you like a steel trap.   

This was a great place to see him because the audience interaction was hot, they rose to his little jibes, fed him what he wanted, sometimes just slapped him up the wrong way.

My favourite example was the group chant at the very end: “There’s a fat girl in the corner..”: where Scottee came up with lots of rude miserable stuff that a fat girl would be doing and encouraged audience members to do the same, and one girl volunteered “Singing to the Gossip” – jerking it out of the mawkish boo-hoo that drag acts sometimes get sucked into.  

The visuals were great. The best bits were always good to watch. Videos worked surprisingly well:  

One felt like a drag-version of Father Ted in which some Irish woman said “accessorise accessorise” so much that beans started coming out of her mouth. “There’s beans coming out of your mouth” said her companion. I liked that one.  

Scottee bookended the show with Youtube clips from a Canadian girl who wanted to tell everybody what performance art is. “Be outrageous! I’m wearing a safety helmet to show danger, fur as a reference to drag queens, and I’m showing my legs with these shoes to use my sexiness to show more danger!” Scottee’s satire on her was “What a cunt”. He was right. That was also funny.    

Eat Your Heart Out was good when the shows were proper performances, and gave you something unusual to look at that was beyond what you’d ever normally see on stage. And not so good when it was more unimaginative and attention-seeking.  

Summing up? Let’s paraphrase Scottee’s Canadian anti-muse: “way outside of any non-outrageous box”.

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