Courtney Act, O2 Institute, Birmingham - review
Celebrity Big Brother winner and RuPaul's Drag Race icon Courtney Act delighted Birmingham fans last night with her new solo show.
A sold-out crowd filled the Digbeth venue, with queues winding round the street long before doors were due to open.
Rising from a raised bed in the centre of the stage and dressed in a shimmering blue and pink night dress, Australian drag queen Courtney Act, created by 36-year-old performer Shane Jenek, kicked off the show in a flurry of energy.
The performer's new solo tour, Under The Covers, explores a variety of popular cover songs and the reasons in which we cover ourselves - whether that be physically or metaphorically.
Courtney is well known for being a former Australia's Got Talent contestant, and she showcased her world-renowned vocals expertly throughout the hour-and-a-half show.
From interpretations of Betty Hutton's It's Oh So Quiet through to R Kelly's Ignition, Ginuwine's Pony and even Madonna's Like A Virgin; Courtney's voice remained flawless.
Highlights of the show included a tear-jerking rendition of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, made famous by Whitney Houston, and a jaw-dropping performance in which the singer did a 'duet' with herself projected onto a screen, mashing up Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Beyonce's If I Were A Boy.
"Let me tell you something about Birmingham folks, its a whole heap of fun," the entertainer told the crowd, to deafening cheers.
Courtney had an effortless rapport with the audience. She regularly interacted with the crowd in direct conversation, and endeared everyone in the room with her concise and well-articulated speeches about gender identity and self-confidence.
Despite often being associated with iconic Michelle Visage phrase 'stop relying on that body', Courtney proved that she's not just a pretty face, but also an intelligent and hilarious queen.
When the crowd weren't gasping at the sound of her tremendous voice, they were rolling around in laughter due to her quick and dry wit.
She regaled the audience with tales from her time in Celebrity Big Brother and her comical run-ins with Ann Widdecombe, her disastrous journey to Kylie Minogue's birthday party and more, that all had the audience hooked on every word.
Courtney certainly did make time to flaunt her immaculate body, with plenty of dazzling costume and wig changes throughout the show.
She delivered a varied and polished performance that will certainly stick in my mind for a long time, and one that I hope to experience once more.