Pecsmas is this year’s festive offering from Pecs Drag Kings, an all-female/non-binary theatre and cabaret collective.
The loosely structured show sees a gay Santa shepherding a young man through the past, present, and future of toxic masculinity via skits, songs and stripping, as performed by John Travulva (Jodie Mitchell), Thrustin Limbersnake (Lauren Steele), Scott Free (Rosie Skan) and Loose Willis (Katy Bulmer).
It includes many cult Christmas moments; Wham!, the Grinch cavorting in trash, plus a homage to the Jingle Bell Rock scene in Mean Girls. There’s also a guest appearance by Christian Adore who impressively turns the audience’s gripes into an improvised rap. The different segments range from the enjoyable to the utterly triumphant – none fall flat.
Steele’s utterly brilliant stab at the festishisation of Christmas food that turns immediately to January’s diet culture, complete with a striptease involving whipped cream all done to Miss Eaves’ Thunder Thighs is particular highlight. Mitchell’s hosting as Santa is also worth noting: dry, charming and politically charged.
While the show is absolutely joyous, it also centralises its deeply important messages about the necessity and power of breaking down toxic masculinity and the gender binary. There was an almost cathartic atmosphere on the night after the election, when Mitchell welcomed the audience with charm and laughs, but also a rousing speech encouraging the queer community to take up space.
It turns out all I want for Christmas is two polar bears in fetish-wear lip-syncing to Mariah Carey. And to deconstruct the patriarchy.