• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Comparison Is Violence, Arched, Glasgow

There are drag queens, and then there’s New York’s Taylor Mac.

A shiny-spangled, radical talent who can drolly drawl “I think – therefore I glam,” and then proceed to illuminate cunningly assorted spooky, problematic and ridiculous aspects of modern life by virtue of his mordantly witty drag personna.

Loading article content

This latest excursion finds Mac, riotously sequinned from head-to-toe and with a scandalous red wig, mischievously serving up cover versions of other people’s songs - the full title of the show extends to “… or the Ziggy Stardust meets Tiny Tim Songbook”. These two are the reference points frequently invoked in reviews keen to niche Mac and his performances. Bowie’s Ziggy? Doubtless on account of the glitzy costumes. Tiny Tim ? Well, the falsetto-voiced eccentric did play the ukelele, but in truth his novelty act was in a totally different camp from the one Mac inhabits.

So, in between songs, he snipes with gleeful malevolence at the odious nature of comparisons and rails with inventive invective at how comparisons gnaw away at one’s sense of self. And then, backed by Lance Horne on keyboards, he puts his own, highly individual stamp on the Bowie songs and takes Starman, Lady Stardust, Rock’n’Roll Suicide and Suffragette City into another mind-blowing dimension. There’s drama in the delivery, but it’s rooted in a profound understanding of what it means to be – as Mac is – from the planet Gender-Bender Artist in a world where “different” is not always a kind comparison. His revelatory closing take on Heroes, so tender and yet achingly resolute, simply makes the heart squeeze.

Star rating: *****

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

PARCH1.1034572