Drag superstar, Bianca Del Rio, took Cape Town by storm in 2018 with her acclaimed Blame It On Bianca show. On 9 August 2019, she returns to our shores with her latest world tour offering, It’s Jester Joke, courtesy of GWB Entertainment. What can fans expect from her new show? 'Expect the unexpected', says Del Rio.
Described as irreverent to the core and fabulously fierce, audiences can be assured that the ‘unexpected' will be delivered with Del Rio’s quintessential acerbic-wit: She'll shock and delight audiences, while sharing her mirthful take on politics, family dynamics, and social media. And, don’t fear, Del Rio will also not shy away from tackling all the lies in between too.
‘I come in with a loosely based script,’ Del Rio explains, ‘but it really does depend on the audience’.
‘I change my material when I’m in a specific area. Each night it’s different with each crowd. There’s definitely new topics and new things to discuss, but fifty percent of it's the audience that I’m with. Me being an American, people in South Africa don’t want to hear about Donald Trump, so you kind of adjust it according to where you are.’
Del Rio's contextually informed approach ensures that her intelligent jabs will cut to the core of every topic she sets her sights on —great comedic effect guaranteed!
With such flexibility it's then no surprise that Del Rio has the power to morph into the persona she requires at any given time. Those acquainted with the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 Snatch Game will know that Del Rio effortlessly, and with uncanny exactitude, stepped into the shoes of Judge Judy —one almost expected the bailiff to appear and drag her victims of shade away once read. However, the feisty Judge Judy is not Del Rio’s insult-comedy idol. For her unique clown-in-a-gown brand she takes inspiration from comedy legends ‘Don Rickles and Joan Rivers for obvious reasons’, says Del Rio. ‘They were brilliantly funny and also continued to work well into their 80s. I can only hope to be as funny and as lucky.’
It is then no surprise that the NY Times has called Del Rio 'The Joan Rivers of the Drag World', and that Rivers herself described Del Rio's humour as, 'So funny! So sharp!'.
With such well-deserved praise and a wide range of skills —having been a costume designer even before taking the Season 6 Drag Race crown and recently taking to the stage in the West End hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie— Del Rio looks set to have just as long a successful career as Rickles and Rivers, even if that means less gown for the clown.
‘I did a reality show that showcased me as a performer in drag and that’s just the packaging that I’ve been experiencing. I’m not afraid to do comedy outside of drag —I have done it outside of drag— but it just so happens that this has been the packaging these last few years. I’ve done drag for 24 years, but the stakes are completely different now because of the television show; it kind of changed the game for me. So, this is what I’m presenting now. Who knows, in 10 years I might switch it up; I don’t want to be a drag forever.’
As far as her personal performance-style is concerned, the versatile Del Rio shares that she’s always been a natural at reading people:
‘That’s just how I grew up. I think when you’re 10 years old, and you’re called a faggot or gay, it kind of changes your perception of the world. So, it used to be a defense mechanism and now it’s a career —who knew?!’
Go experience the immensely talented Del Rio’s power to read the shade out of the chaos of life in It’s Jester Joke on 9 August 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, courtesy of GWB Entertainment. Book your ticket’s for this much anticipated show online through Computicket.