Unexploded Ordnances (UXO),

Platform/ Diamond, Tron Glasgow

Mary Brennan, three stars

Split Britches appearing on-stage in Easterhouse was, in itself, a rare treat – but Take Me Somewhere had another iconic ace up its sleeve: David Hoyle at the Tron. Hoyle no longer inhabits his confrontational anti-drag character, The Divine David, but - as with Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw (aka Split Britches) - age has not mellowed an innate sense of outrage at how society’s ills are either ignored or compounded by those in power.

Age does, however, come into UXO. No-one in the Council of Elders, recruited from the audience, was younger than 57. Like Weaver and Shaw, they had intimations of mortality, of diminishing physical and mental flexibility, of things left undone in their own lives and concerns about what has been done, often disastrously, by politicians. These were the ‘unexploded ordnances’ that surfaced round the circle of white tables that recalled Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove, as did the personnas adopted by Weaver and Shaw - the former a brisk Madam President, the latter a bullishly gruff General. It proved a cunning mix of carefully structured informality and confessional spontaneity where Weaver and Shaw elicited the stuff of all our fears from their generously open Council.

Unstinting honesty was always a hallmark of Hoyle’s performances on the gay cabaret scene of the 1980’s and 90’s. Frankness remains well to the fore in Diamond where, alongside wryly entertaining autobiographical details, he charts the history of LGBT life in Britain since the Wolfenden Report (1957) ushered in the partial ‘decriminalisation’ of homosexuality. His flamboyant, excoriating rage against bigotry, discrimination - add in war-mongering and police brutality - is backed by high kicks and wicked shimmies from drag dance group the LipSinkers. Hoyle glints, twinkles and shines like their sequinned costumes, but what really dazzles is his resilient optimism for a better future. “I’ll leave that with you,” he says. He does. Memorably so.