It’s August in Kirkcaldy and there are some things going on in town that you can always rely on during the course of the month – Raith Rovers kick off to start yet another football season, the kids finally go back to school and The Ladyboys of Bangkok take to the stage at the Adam Smith Theatre!
The glamorous gang are now a well-established annual event in the Lang Toun and, as promoter and voice of the show, Binky Beaumont says, this year is a particularly special one.
“I only recently realised that it’s our 10th year playing in Kirkcaldy,” he said.
“The first time was 2008, and it’s become one of our favourite places on the tour without a doubt.
“It’s the most fantastic audience. We have people who come year after year and they send us messages, cards and pictures every time.
“It’s a really important part of the tour.”
The brand new show entitled ‘Who Runs The World’ will begin a residency at the theatre from next Wednesday, August 30 through to Saturday, September 2, once it finishes its current run wowing audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is where it all began almost two decades ago.
Binky said: “It’s going very well at the Fringe. It’s actually our 19th year – the 20th anniversary is next year in 2018.
“Lots of the shows are selling out. Edinburgh is where we started so it’s like our second home.
“The show grew from there. It was going well at the Fringe then about eight or nine years ago we were approached to do some theatres, though we’d already played at Kirkcaldy funnily enough.
“So now we’ve grown to do 13 city centre venues on a tour that lasts from March until November.
“We play 45 theatres so we have 19 articulated lorries, 40 people, 27 miles of cable, 5000 square feet of carpet and flooring – and a lot of hard work!
“It’s a huge operation now, we’re playing in a brand new multi-million pound pink tent this year and we have over 400 new costumes as well as four new Ladyboys!”
The end of August has become probably the busiest week of the year for the Ladyboys, with Kirkcaldy playing a pivotal role.
“Each year now the Edinburgh Festival finishes on the Bank Holiday Monday, on Tuesday we move to Kirkcaldy where we stay in Glenrothes where we are always looked after brilliantly. We then play Wednesday to Saturday and on Sunday we go to the Glasgow Pavillion.
“It’s the busiest week in the theatres that we have, we’ll play to around 4000 people across the week.”
With such a well established show, and hardcore fans returning each year, Binky says the challenge is to keep coming up with new ideas, but it’s one that they relish.
“I’ve been with the show since it started and have worked with the producers of the show, Philip and Carol Gandey for 32 years.
“Often I’ll be in the car with Philip and he’ll suddenly go “Quick! I’ve got to write this down!” and he’s had an idea.
“It can be inspired by watching TV or listening to the radio. Sometimes he’ll get a song which has been suggested from his children, such as one by Emeli Sandé – or sometimes by people I don’t even know!
“So yes, we’re always trying to come up with new ideas and keeping it fresh. It’s nearly our 20th year so there are always new things coming through or happening.
“We might do a tribute to a famous pop star who has passed away, we did a skit on the X Factor a few years ago, and we are always looking for comedy things to put in too.”
A show with such a long-lasting appeal will always pick up its regulars, but for those who have never been before Binky promises a night they’ll never forget.
“The show is the biggest mix of cabaret, comedy and cheeky humour – nothing rude.
“For me, the best thing that anyone can say about it is that it’s a blooming good night out.
“It’s a mix of the very best West End shows, with great pop songs and the funniest comedy performed by 16 of the most beautiful girls in the world – who happen to be boys – with a grumpy dwarf from Oldham!
“That’s Trevor Jones. He was one of the Ewoks in Star Wars and he works with Peter Kay a lot, he was in Phoenix Nights.
“The show is never smutty, it’s always tongue in cheek. Some people think ‘it’s not for me’, but if you see our demographic you’d be amazed.
“We get the hen parties in and we do get some of the gay audience, but our biggest audience by far are the ladies who drag their husbands along, determined that they are going to enjoy it, and by the third or fourth number the husbands are up dancing as well!
“It’s the biggest party in town.”
Binky says the love affair that Scotland has with the show is mutual, and that they add in something special to show their own appreciation for their audience.
“We always add on that extra 20 minutes when we’re north of the border, with a special Scottish finale,” he said.
“Nobody gets up and dances like the Scottish do!
“It’s a brand new show but we do get swamped with requests so we do bring back some of the old favourites now and again.
“In fact there’s a couple of things back in the show this year, we got 3000 requests for them which is unbelievable – but I’m not saying what they are.
“You’ll have to come along and see the show for yourself!”
• The Ladyboys of Bangkok star in ‘Who Runs The World’ at the Adam Smith Theatre from Wednesday, August 30 - Saturday, September 2.
Tickets are priced at £24 (£22 concession) plus £1 booking fee and are available from the theatre’s box office, by calling 01592-583302 or online at www.onfife.com.