Edinburgh Festival Fringe cabaret review: Ecce Homo, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Claire Smith.
With white clown face, rainbow eye makeup, white-blonde slicked-back hair, a loose pink shirt and pink tights this is an extraordinary creature we see before us.
Dr Nick Phillips, aka international drag star Naughty Nickers, was diagnosed PWA – or Person With Aids in 1985 – but prefers PWA: Poof With Attitude.
A former member of the revolutionary alternative drag group the Bloolips – who were, according to Quentin Crisp, “the best thing to come out of England since me” – Phillips takes us on an extraordinary journey from the secret nightclubs of Soho to the bath houses of San Francisco and the nightclubs of New York.
Naughty Nickers’ tale of hedonism, love, and friendship sparkles with recollections of some wonderful characters – including his fellow Bloolips, disco superstar Sylvester and his friend Stephen Sondheim.
It’s a theatrical memoir – but also a tale of activism – celebrating the openly gay and political culture of New York and San Francisco in the Eighties and mourning those members of the rainbow tribe who were lost in the early years of Aids.
Phillips, who finished his PhD in musical theatre, despite being diagnosed with Aids, was witness to an amazing time in gay history.
He was there, and thankfully, he’s still here to tell the tale.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 11 August 2015
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