Reviews/Cabaret/Fringe World Festival

Drag show serves up a saucy set

6 February 2023

With plenty of variety (and skin) on display, there’s something to suit every appetite in drag cabaret show Yummy Iconic, says Rachel Denham-White.

Yummy Iconic, Yummy
The Aurora Spiegeltent at the Pleasure Garden, 4 February 2023

Like any drag show worth its salt, Yummy Iconic is gender-bending and rhinestone studded.

Kinky, campy, sexy, and, most importantly, fun, Iconic is the latest offering from award-winning Melbourne-based drag ensemble Yummy. Director and “misleading” lady Valerie Hex has assembled a stellar line-up for this Fringe World show, which brings together drag, burlesque, circus and cabaret.

Set to Madison Rose’s “Iconic!”, the opening act is a great taster of what follows. This electropop drag number is filled with snappy choreography, ostentatious costumes and Polynesian burlesque dancer Karlee Misi’s jiggling butt – and there’s plenty more where that came from.

Circus legend Jarred Dewey is a highlight. A performer of many talents, he blends dance, aerial silks, and drag performance in his first solo, a trapeze routine set to a lip-synced cover of “The Show Must Go On”. His toned physique, flexibility and vampy, silent-movie star aesthetic make him a captivating sight, but his pole-dancing – in six-inch platform heels – is the most physically impressive act of the night.

A drag queen in a voluminous pink shiny dress.
Valerie Hex is here to have a good time in ‘Yummy Iconic’. Photo supplied

Yummy Iconic is not for the prudish, and the show is more than a little risqué. Another standout is queen Jandruze making the world’s horniest sandwich. With some giant culinary props and help from an audience member, she “finishes” her performance with a suggestive bottle of mayonnaise, which had me shrieking with laughter and gagging just a little bit.

In between magic shows, fire-twirling and stripteases, Hex keeps the audience entertained with her cheeky, good-natured rapport. Her sense of humour is direct – “Any straights left in the building?” she asks near the end – and she’s here to have a good time.

It’s the enthusiasm that’s the best part of Yummy Iconic. Every performer brims with talent, but it is their love for their craft and their unrestrained queer joy and pride that makes the show so successful.

It was surprising, then, that the opening night audience was a little subdued, particularly for the closing ensemble number – a dance party to a medley of Britney’s greatest hits – which deserved to have every audience member on their feet.

Yummy Iconic is an energetic, bubbly and ultimately feel-good show, and with so much variety (and skin) on display, it’s bound to have something for everyone.

Yummy Iconic plays the Aurora Spiegeltent at the Pleasure Garden until18 February 2023.

Pictured top: Jandruze making the world’s horniest sandwich in ‘Yummy Iconic’. Photo: supplied

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Author —
Rachel Denham-White

Rachel Denham-White is an emerging writer living in Boorloo/Perth. She has just completed her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Literature and is constantly fascinated by the Gothic, the surrealist, and horror in all its forms. Her favourite playground object is the basket swing, but despite a childhood's worth of attempts, she's yet to achieved a full 360° revolution.

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