Leslie Jordan first wowed audiences in the West End in 2011 in a hilarious one man show, My Trip Down The Pink Carpet, about his camp journey into the world of showbiz. Penned by the actor himself, it was a show with tremendous heart, and won the American rave reviews from pretty much every publication in town. It was said Jordan relished nightly standing ovations at the Apollo, and for a miniature self-confessed ‘sissy’ he had no trouble making his voice heard. Trails of glitter littered Shaftesbury Avenue long after he’d headed back to the States and straight into a starring cameo in the movie The Help. His profile at the time in the UK perhaps strengthened his popularity the world-over.
Returning to the London stage with his follow up show, Fruit Fly, the pint-sized actor ensures his new offering is just as edgy and entertaining, albeit losing some of the showbiz ‘pizazz’ that made Pink Carpet a tour-de-force. Nevertheless, Jordan steps up to the mark with a more intimate turn, this time giving himself time to breathe without losing the attention of the audience.
Jordan possess that rare ability to relay story after story with top marks for articulation and with the means of making it sound as if it is being told for the first time, every time. And there’s little difference if that’s one-on-one or when confronted with the Leicester Square Theatre audience. Fruit Fly is a witty, poignant and punchy performance that sees the actor once again skipping around the stage crying out “look at me, look at me” and look they do. But audiences also listen to Jordan, and when the humour turns to tragedy there is a notable silence. This is a rare skill that ensures every anecdote is fascinating and always candid.
Fruit Fly is a witty, poignant and punchy performance that sees the actor once again skipping around the stage crying out “look at me, look at me” and look they do.
Fruit Fly asks the question: Do gay men become their mothers? Jordan has always spoken warmly of his and the show gives a real insight into the ups and downs of childhood, puberty and adulthood. The 58 year old (“tax and shipping not included”) revels in shocking his crowd. A candid tale of his trip to the family paediatrician aged 13 discovering his urine infection was in fact an STI, has the audience hitting the roof with hilarity, then a hint of disbelief. Jordan would argue that all of his stories are “absolutely true” but even if artistic license is used to enhance the overall experience, he is forgiven.
Grab your mates, have a few bevvies, and become a ‘Fruit Fly’ for the evening.