Friday, May 27, 2016


Canberra Theatre Centre Playhouse 24th May 2016

Reviewed by Bill Stephens

Judging by the crowd which packed the Playhouse Theatre for Bianca Del Rio’s single Canberra performance, the television show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has a lot of viewers in Canberra.
Bianca Del Rio was the winner of season 6 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and describes herself as a “Clown in a gown”. 

The alter ego of seasoned comic, Roy Haylock, a well-known costume designer, Bianca Del Rio is described as an “insult comic”, and is known for her foul mouth and unapologetic humour. She was described in the New York Times as “The Joan Rivers of Drag”.

Bianca Del Rio in Canberra 

She certainly lived up to her reputation during her single Canberra performance, and the packed house loved her for it. A model of inclusiveness, she managed to insult, gays, straights, lesbians, the disabled, RuPaul, Courtney Act, her fans and anyone else who crossed her mind. Hilariously hateful, her barbs were so sharp that her victims hardly had time to feel the sting before she zipped on to her next topic. In any case, as she quickly pointed out, she’s the biggest joke of all.

But don’t underestimate Del Rio because behind the potty mouth is a very accomplished stand-up. For the full hour she was on stage her act never flagged for a second. The final section in which she answers questions submitted by the audience was a masterful demonstration of her skill at the quick come-back, so that even her frequent heart-felt references to Cranberry, instead of Canberra, had her audience in stitches.

In addition, her outrageous costume, wig and make-up were all works of art in themselves, so it was a pity that the act did not allow for a costume change.   

Though this was her first visit to Canberra, one feels that it will not be the last we see of Bianca Del Rio, as she hinted during her show that the success of her whirl-wind Australian tour, may herald an invasion of refugees from “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. 

Bianca Del Rio in the Canberra Centre Playhouse