If you’ve ever been on Newcastle’s best (officially, as voted by readers of the Chronicle) night out to Boulevard, you’ll have more than likely experienced one or all of the following three things thanks to the venue’s hostess, Miss Rory: A) Split your sides laughing, b) been thoroughly entertained or c) been left cowering from one of her acerbic put-downs. Last night, the self-styled “People’s Princess” brought that triple-threat to a packed Tyne Theatre and left her audience reeling.
For one-night only, Rory, so vivaciously brought to life by Dan Cunningham, headlined her own one woman show titled, erm, One Woman. The show, produced by North East-based Nice Swan, was a night of witty anecdotes, tête-à-tête and, frankly, abrasive attacks on everything from illiterate Facebook supporters of Brexit (“I refuse to take political advice from someone who doesn’t know the difference between ‘their’, ‘there’ and ‘they’re’”) to, controversially, the McCanns. It wasn’t so much a case of sink or swim for her targets, but rather who should manage to escape relatively unscathed and who should simply, as she puts it, ‘get in the sea.’
Other topics of discussion included being asked back to her old high school for an awards ceremony (“Hello children. Would anyone like to see my puppies?”) and generally being adored by the public (“my dressing room looks like a Spanish road side tonight”).
A few gags, particularly those in reference to the death of Princess Diana regularly towed the line between funny and tasteless (“I love your necklace, what is it?” “Mercedes”) but this is what Rory does best; a disclaimer was even put out at the beginning for those easily offended to make a swift exit.
It felt like Rory has been sharpening her tongue in preparation for this night for quite a while. The jokes came thick, fast and if Cunningham was nervous to be going it alone, there was little sign of it. Dressed to the nines in signature sparkly frocks and massive heels, which leave the comic rather terrifyingly towering well over 6 ft. and fresh off a recent hosting gig in that London’s Leicester Square, Rory skulked around the stage, laden with a gigantic shoe and make up accessories, like a seasoned stand-up pro.
The show was also littered with video messages of good luck, including one from singer Beverley Knight, and a hilarious video of ‘Rory on tour’, which showed her skulking around Tynemouth stealing children’s’ ice creams and going on the lash in the Metro Centre. With a riotous standing O as she left the stage, the door was firmly propped open for more gigs to follow.
Nothing short of a legend on the Newcastle gay scene, Rory often jokes during shows at Boulevard that she is not a drag queen, but rather a headliner. And last night, she proved it. It was one very funny woman and one even funnier night – hopefully one of many, many more to come.