not a book, theatre

Not a Book: Ben De La Creme

We interrupt our scheduled programming for a rare midweek Not a Book post – because what’s the point of a review of a show if the show is already over…

Ben De La Crème’s new one woman show is called Ready to be Committed and it follows my favourite drag Queen as she tries to get married so she doesn’t end up alone and eaten by cats. The only problem, is well, everything – starting with the fact that she doesn’t have a groom. Over the course of the show De La goes on to breakdown marriage and the patriarchy in a style that she describes at the start as “take the smart but make it stupid”. She sings, she raps, she dances and she plays *all* the characters – including wedding cake toppers and a sentient Dorito.

And it’s very funny. De La’s character is a twist on a 50s-y ingenue and that makes her search for a husband (on Grindr) cringingly brilliant. It’s also very clever – think adult drag Queen Horrible Histories and you get a bit of a sense of some of it. And De La knows what she’s doing – most of the audience, like me were there because they had seen her on Drag Race rather than because they’d seen her live before (I know because she checked!) and she swept us all up in the personality that you knew from the show, but demonstrated that she has more range and versatility than you expected. And if you saw her on All Stars you already knew she was good.

This has been in my diary for two years – I originally bought a ticket to see this in February 2020 and it was one of the first casualties of the pandemic in my ticket box. I had the option to rearrange my ticket in to her Christmas show with Jinx Monsoon, but I hung on for Ready to be Committed and I’m so glad I did. Tuesday night when I went was the first night and it wasn’t full, so if you like the sound of it from the review you might be able to get a ticket, although I’m hoping for De La’s sake that it’s all sold out now! Run don’t walk!

Ben De La Creme is at the Leicester Square Theatre until Saturday, in Brighton on Sunday and then Manchester on Tuesday. Then she goes back to the US where the tour continues…