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The Queen’s Head review at Selfridges, London – ‘anarchy and nostalgia’

The cast of The Queen's Head at Selfridges, London

Building on the success of last year’s Down the Rabbit Hole, Sink the Pink is back in the basement of Selfridges with a brand new quasi-immersive Christmas show.

The popular queer collective has created The Queen’s Head, a working-class boozer complete with flock wallpaper, wood panelling, a piano and proper bar where the audience are patrons.

It’s the 1980s and the venue has secured television coverage of the switching on of its legendary Christmas lights. Hostess Ginger Johnson battles stroppy staff, pushy salesmen and a vodka-crazed anchor with the name of Wendy Minger to try to make the evening a success. Naturally mayhem ensues but not without plenty of laughs in what unfolds to be surprisingly sentimental Christmas story.

Reworked popular hits punctuate Johnson’s witty and acerbic script but it’s the random colourful characters that remain indelibly etched on the brain. Performance artist Rodent Decay’s acid punk barmaid Michelle, Jonbenet Blonde’s abrasive Minger and Johnson herself create a vivid and visceral burlesque of a soap.

Yet amid the bedlam, there’s a hefty dollop of goodwill on offer. It’s not only fuelled by nostalgia and the drinks included ticket, but also by sense of inclusivity that permeates the story.

Verdict
Anarchic quasi-immersive Christmas show with a refreshingly sentimental centre

Production

Production
The Queen’s Head
Venue
Selfridges
City
London
Starts
November 15, 2017
Ends
December 23, 2017
Authors
Ginger Johnson
Director
Ginger Johnson
Musical director
Sarah Bodaiblhai
Choreographer
Chester Hayes
Lighting
Sorcha Stott-Strzala
Costume
Gemma Banks
Stage manager
Rachel Porter
Cast includes
Ginger Johnson, Jonbenet Blonde, Maxi Moore, Rodent Decay, Mahatma Michaels, Mairi Houston, Lavinia Coop
Producer
Sink the Pink, East Creative
Running time
1hrs 30mins