REVIEW: Aidan Sadler: Tropicana, Assembly George Square- The Blue Room, EdFringe 2022 ★★★★☆

REVIEW: Aidan Sadler: Tropicana, Assembly George Square- The Blue Room, EdFringe 2022 ★★★★☆

Aidan Sadler’s Tropicana hits with such a loud bang it’s tough to look away. Unashamedly playing with the tension between heteronormativity and being non-binary in a very binary world. We explore unleashing ourselves from our collective insecurities and the birth of light and truth from uncertainty and momentary stagnation. Tropicana normalises and embraces all genders and roles whilst somehow still dousing the audience in crude humour and optimistic 80’s classics. Tropicana is endearingly awkward, energetic, and authentic when sharing the truth about sobriety. It is punchy in portraying the search for individuality on a cookie-cutter ASOS website and the possibility of a gay war. Not shying away from the reality of queerness, when you’re sitting on the edge of too much discomfort, Aidan scoops you back in with another chart-topper and buckets full of character.

Whether belting out ‘Take on Me’ or revealing personal anecdotes, Aidan is remarkable at including the audience in their storytelling. At times it felt like we were the show. Not giving in until each and every one of us was right there with them, making tea in dresses and contemplating the vulnerability of their anecdotes. Delivered with honesty, undeniably rhythmic comic timing and delight, Aidan’s ability to speak to the energy in the room kept this show alive with unrelenting perpetual motion. Aidan invites us all to break out of the shame box and embrace our insecurities, fused with vocals that keep you focused the entire cabaret.

Aidan’s energy was all this show needed to have you feeling invested and energised in this wholesome queer cabaret. Simplicity in the right areas allowed their story to be the hero. While some moments felt quite raw and fresh, there was no shame in Aidan’s journey throughout the cabaret. Underneath gold confetti and the extravagance of 80’s nostalgia classics is a pathway back from a genuinely relatable and vulnerable moment that was the birthplace of Tropicana. From the start of the season, this show bursts with empowerment. Their stage presence was magnetic enough to fill a theatre twice the size.

Recommended Drink: Paying homage to sobriety milestones, I’d have to pair this cabaret with Aidan’s morning Berocca – “a fruity drink of chalky disappointment”.

 Catch Aidan Sadler: Tropicana at Assembly George Square- The Blue Room between August 6-28th at 22:20. tickets on edfringe website

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