Theatre review: Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales – Unwrapped

Maisie Barker

23 year old student dividing her time between Manchester and London. Studied English and Creative Writing, hoping to pay the rent with it one day.Likes horror films, reading and spending my student loan on clothes. Dislikes spiders and people with topknots.

Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales’ first run at the Soho Theatre (in The Vaudevillians) saw them as a 1920s cabaret duo recently unfrozen from a block of ice and finding fame in the present day. This time they’ve turned their attention to Christmas for their seasonal show Unwrapped.

But this isn’t all tinsel and twee. Jinkx is very, very pissed off at the state of the world and at Christmas’ increasingly early celebrations. As well as baby-voiced covers of ‘Santa Baby’, the lack of presents for Jewish children, dealing with relatives and those ‘thoughtful’ but uninteresting gifts foisted on children.

If you were expecting Bing Crosby and ‘Little Drummer Boy’ prepare to be disappointed. But if you like your Christmas with a little bit of poison then you’re in for a treat. Jinkx and Major Scales take us through a musical meander – from a Nazi-tinged ‘O Holy Night’ to a cabaret style rendition of Miley Cyrus’ ‘We Can’t Stop’ and it’s pure magic.

The vocal performances are varied and ever powerful; Mariah Carey-esque belts feature, as does a scarily accurate impersonation of Lana Del Ray’s ‘Video Games’.

Not content with ripping apart the holiday season, their performance touches on everything from LGBT rights to Caitlyn Jenner, global warming, Judaism and of course Donald Trump. Quite a variety for a 75 minute show. And it’s topped up with a fantastic performance of the late, great David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’.

It’s much darker than their previous show but rightfully so. Most of us are angry, most of us are facing difficult Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with Trump-supporting relatives. But together, Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales show that they’re angry too and that they’re not willing to play nice for the holiday season.

Unwrapped runs until Saturday 15th December at the Soho Theatre.

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