Live Review: Extravaganza Bedford

Extravaganza Bedford

Bedford Esquires – 20/5/2022

Making a welcome return is the Extravaganza event at legendary venue Bedford Esquires. Mixing performance artists with live music this is an evening of pure joy with an extra emphasis on a safe and welcoming environment for all. Hosted by the warm, friendly and extremely enthusiastic Ginger Snaps each performer gets two shows in rotation with a little break in between. While the artists are the bricks it’s the host that is the mortar binding things together. Ginger Snaps is perfect with well judged interlude times that are a highlight in themselves.

Alternative burlesque artist Jada Love has a fetish edge that isn’t over the top. It’s a good fit for the mixed audience tonight. We first see her masked in a shimmering outfit laced with sequins. Contrasting well her later set has a shaman vibe with predatory overtones. Animal print emphasises the theme beautifully and the flower pasties are a great touch.


Miss Fortune brings the dark art of gorelesque to vibrant life. She gets the front row involved by asking them to paint her day-glo green after emerging from flamboyant wings. Her second act sees her taking a bath on stage, the tub being transparent. It’s a thing of beauty from start to finish, a little horror peep show that like all the acts tonight gets the content spot on for the people attending.

Max Legroom is quirky and fun. A mimer to mash ups while masked Slipknot style. This drag king proves to be a multi-talented gem showing off their skills as a singer and stand up comic too. This is the sort of act promoters and audiences love. They walk on stage and you never quite know what to expect. It’s that suspense makes Legroom so watchable. The big finale here is a loo roll gun which covers the crowd with surprising efficiency.

Punking it up is resident drag king Edgar Allen Hoe. We get an array of fast paced entertainment here which includes the liberal self administering of squirty cream and silly string. Hoe also comes armed with a stapler which is used to adorn the flesh with ‘money’ in note form. With devil themed face paint and a big grin as a default setting this artist is relentless in making sure you want to watch every moment.

In between all the mayhem Ginger Snaps brings a bride to be on her hen night up for a dance and hosts the ‘best dressed’ section of the show. Judged by headliner Delilah Bon it’s determined very fairly that all three should win and they receive signed framed posters.

Closing out tonight Delilah Bon are doing their very first one hour set. It’s clear from the amount of shirts being worn that many here are big fans and they’re treated to a fantastic show. DJ Golden Axe is faultless on the decks. Bass ace Runa plays wonderful rhythms and pulls some great shapes too. And then of course Delilah herself nails the performance. Fast becoming an icon for the feminist cause Bon pulls no punches. ‘Chop Dicks’ hits home particularly accurately and paints an ugly picture of life as a woman in a supposedly safe and advanced society. Fresh lyrics on a cover of Emimen’s ‘Godzilla’ take the power back, actually they wrench it back. The great thing about Delilah Bon is that the message is crystal clear but the show itself is fun. It’s a celebration of femininity and tonight it raises the roof.

Review and photos by Gary Trueman