If her packed out, debut performance in Scotland is anything to go by, Miranda Sings self assigned “5 threat” status is something that all pop stars should be seriously worried about. She is a singer, actress, dancer, model and most recently, a magician; incorporating all of this in to one hysterical live show.
In a festival full of cabaret performances and stand up comedy, Miranda Sings arrives on Scottish shores from the USA delivering a performance that integrates both of these into a belly-achingly effective comic character. She is the YouTube creation of Colleen Ballinger, a truly talented vocalist who chooses to spend most of her time being bloody awful at her forté. Bad decision? Not in the slightest. Her ability to transform from Colleen to Miranda in a split second is what makes her talent even more impressive.
Ballinger opens the show as herself, becoming Miranda’s support act and delivering a sweet, impressionable song entitled ‘Taylor the Latte Boy’, showing that even out of character she still has a great sense of humour. She follows this with the now famous performance of Wicked’s Defying Gravity. Colleen Ballinger’s vocal clarity is stunning, like a Disney princess from their nineties renaissance period. It is half way through this performance Ballinger pins back her hair, kicks off her heels to replace them with lurid pink crocs, and changes from bejewelled dress to ill-fitting men’s shirt and bright red sweatpants – “Haters Back Off” emblazoned across her rear end. She holds the infamous red lipstick in the air to an array of excited screams and claps from the audience before smothering it on like a young girl in her mother’s make up back. She visually and vocally steps into Miranda mode.
Miranda is a self centred, slightly delusional singer with a knack for hitting all the wrong notes and dancing rather awkwardly. Speaking in malapropisms, she delivers an hour long self help sermon, interlaced with fantastic audience participation and hilariously bad renditions of musical theatre and pop songs. It has all the components of a show that would usually fall apart after being packed to the brim with ideas, but it holds together wonderfully, leaving you smiling from ear to ear.
Her crowd is comprised of mostly young kids and teenagers, with some obligatory accompanying parents. A surprising array considering her humour is sometimes slightly risque. Her act includes a section on combating ‘porn’ – a collective term given to all things sexually suggestive, as well as a number of incestuous jokes. Luckily, these are all done in a way that will have parents laughing and children oblivious. She rattles off song after song, including a brilliantly choreographed interpretation of Chicago’s Cell Block Tango, for which she happily takes on all the roles. Miranda never breaks under the pressure of her adoring fans, often responding to screams of adoration with creeped out expressions, shrugging her fans off who have been there since the beginning. She is condescending and arrogant in the most brilliant of ways.
In the unlikely event that the character grows tired to the public adoration, Ballinger has her own charm and personality to back her up. For now and for the foreseeable future, Miranda Sings is the YouTube and now, Fringe star that is unabashed, immature and very, very funny.
Miranda Sings plays the EICC until Sunday August 17th. For tickets, head here. Edinburgh Fringe have sold out of their allocation.