When I heard The Lady Boys of Bangkok were in town, I instantly put my name down for the review for StokeOnTrentLive.
But then Becky got in touch with an exciting proposal – would I like one of the showgirls to do my makeup?
Yes, I blooming would!
Having watched the opening night’s show, I already had an idea of what it was all about. I had seen their glam full-face looks and bejazzled outfits and, honestly, they looked incredible.
If you’re unsure about what The Lady Boys of Bangkok is about, you can read my colleagues article here, which explains a little about who they are and what they do.
But I loved how artistic director Phillip Gandey put it: “It’s the decadence of Sally Bowles, the immediacy of MTV, and the comedy of a Blackpool postcard. You can’t be offended!”
I was a bag of nerves as I headed backstage in the Sabai Pavilion, past racks of costumes, headdresses and glitter. There were dressing tables filled with makeup bags spilling out products, straighteners and curlers and again, more glitter.
I met with Jennifer and Bombay next to one of the spot-lit tables, ready for my transformation.
Jennifer would be applying my makeup, so here’s a little bit about them. Mr Sathaporn Taegpradit transforms into Jennifer on stage – they studied marketing at University, and love fashion. Jennifer collects Vogue’s from around the world and hopes to own their own clothing line one day.
Jennifer is absolutely stunning – dark, silky hair down to her waist that any woman would envy. I really thought the showgirls were wearing wigs – but a lot of them don’t!
As she started to apply my makeup, I noticed that a lot of the products were either drugstore, or fairly common high end – namely Revlon and MAC.
Since I was already wearing foundation, she worked on a sharp contour and smokey eyes before defining my brow. Jennifer and Bombay said they liked my eyebrows, with them being big.
Showgirl makeup can look pretty bold off-stage, with dark skintones and huge eyes – but on stage it looks less terrifying and more glam. Jennifer glued some enormous lashes onto my eyes before finishing the look with a red lip, slightly over-lining my lips. She stressed that the eyelashes are very important on stage to accentuate the eyes and look more glamorous.
After the showgirls had finished my face and fluffed my hair, I stuck around for a second viewing of the show and it was even better the second time around. Once you’ve seen the effort that goes in to getting ready for a show, and how quickly they change from each outfit to be on stage for the next number, you can really appreciate the art form.
The Lady Boys of Bangkok – The Greatest Showgirls tour is still in Newcastle-under-Lyme until October 26.
Watch Jennifer doing my makeup in the IGTV below!