The Verse’s Gem Turner reviews Jinx Monsoon and Major Scales at The Old Market on 23-24th November 2018.
Jinkx Monsoon, the winner of season five Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and America’s Next Drag Superstar returned to Brighton at The Old Market and was not alone. Accompanied by Major Scales, the pair worked their way through their new album ‘The Ginger Snapped’ in a way that the only Monsoon could. Addressing mental health and armed with a short temper, Ms Jinkx Monsoon brought the house down.
Major Scales opened the show with an almost overly theatrical performance. Admittedly for a moment I was ready for pantomime over drag. But Jinkx then appeared on stage and the show certainly bought itself back. Within the first ten minutes of the show Jinkx had two walkouts (casually spraying the front row with liquid from a vodka labelled bottle), this did not rattle Monsoon who put her degree in theatrical performance into practice and later used it as comment to the audience “was it because I spat over them?” in her southern accent (the audience applauded).
Monsoon and Scales have crafted something very special, the whole show is based on mental health, with songs like ‘Cartoons and Vodka’ and ‘Just Me (Gender Binary Blues)’ – addressing gender identity. Scales acts as Monsoon’s therapist, as Monsoon tackles all the things she is struggling with internally and as part of a wider society. Which she does by the use of funny and sometimes concerning stories about issues she has had to face. Including a time when her doctor ‘corrected’ the gender box he ticked.
The audience followed Jinkx’s journey, offering empathy and loud laughter every step of the way. One thing that really stood out about Jinkx Monsoon aka Jerick Hoffer, is the depth of each joke, with references to Psychology, Art History, and even Da Vinci. Hoffer is not limited by his drag and most definitely has outgrown her Drag Race crown. Monsoon pays homage to her Drag Race sisters. She proves that she does not depend on her drag family for fame. She has earned respect all on her own.
For me, Monsoon’s stand out moment was when she addressed mental health with an empowering speech “Queer people are going missing every day in Russia” she goes on to address politics and the world leaders including America ’s very own Trump. “Is there any wonder we are sad? We are pissed off… the world has done a 180°”. Silence took over the room as every member of the audience offered their solidarity for the speech Monsoon delivered. Monsoon and Scales end the show with their rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”. Scales artistry and professionalism shone through in each song that he had delivered. A show not to be missed.