Dean Misdale is a joy and a pleasure to watch. In a world that so often seems heavy and dark, they brought an hour of lightness and hilarity. Within seconds of walking in, they made the audience feel immediately at ease and safe; an ability that is actually quite scarce at the Fringe, amongst many of the stand-up performers.
Misdale captured the audience’s attention with a fabulous sequined blue dress that shimmered as they strutted into the intimate, packed venue at The Pear Tree. Despite the heat and the pressure of performing in front of an audience in a foreign country, given Misdale’s Australian roots in Perth, they managed a flawless look and performance throughout.
Misdale showcased their exceptional talent for singing, with an incredible range and an ability to engross the audience with their rendition of famously difficult numbers such as Whitney Houston and Tina Turner, amongst others. A particular highlight was when they showcased their parody piece that they wrote during lockdown, whilst working as a cleaner (or ‘special hygienist’ according to the job description) in a primary school, to make ends meet. A true ‘Quarantine Queen’!
Each musical piece was introduced with anecdotes from their own life and the trials and tribulations Misdale faced, especially throughout lockdown. These were as funny as they were heart-warming, and led to raucous laughter amongst the audience. Some of these musical interludes also featured a more serious message, with Misdale highlighting how important it is to support your children and loved ones, regardless of their sexuality or gender. This message, rightfully so, was met with applause, and approval which was so refreshing to hear – when so often this community is met with harassment and abuse. Not only this, but Misdale managed to segway smoothly between light-hearted jokes, songs and important messages, all whilst maintaining a space that left you feeling safe and at ease – which is no easy feat.
The performance left me with a smile on my face and feeling empowered to be myself, or whatever version of myself I wanted to be. So often at shows, as a woman, one is left feeling like your existence has been criticised or made fun of, but Misdale’s Life’s A Drag had the opposite effect. Life’s A Drag leaves you aching with laughter, having not only enjoyed an incredibly talented singer, but inspired, having seen someone who, despite the challenges they have had to face, has always made the best out of a situation, and always with a sense of humour.
Life’s A Drag is a hidden gem of the Fringe. A must watch show filled with comedy and musical talent by an Australian star. On at The Pear Tree at 6PM until 28th August.
Image: Jason Matz, provided to The Student as a press image.