Venue: Assembly Checkpoint
Star Rating: ***
Reviewer: Ana Hine
The minute the show begins and you realise that, yes, Yana Alana is completely naked and painted bright blue, it becomes clear that the next hour is going to be an entertaining one. “I’m not a role model, I’m a model with rolls,” she announces at one point, standing there in all her glory like a poster girl for the body-positivity movement.
I was strongly reminded of Miss Annabel Sings from Dive Queer Party. Both have larger than-life personas, with a core of queer rage and Alana takes care to remind the audience that homophobia, transphobia, and the patriarchy get her down, before launching operatically into songs with lines like; “No I don’t want to be normal, I just want to be me… I’ve never been fashionable unless I’m being late… average is something I don’t strive to be.”
Much of her act revolves around the narcissistic persona she’s created for herself, which can be a bit exhausting at times, and her personal manifesto/self-help guide ‘Go Fuck Yourself’, can come off as unduly aggressive.
Targets include members of the LGBTQ+ community who hold socially and economically conservative views. “Your sexual identity ain’t your identity,” she proclaims. “Don’t ever assume that because someone is gay that they are radical or compassionate… believe me when I say, some of the queerest people I know are straight.”
Despite this, a song about anal sex works particularly well and is full of enjoyable innuendos and double entendres, while at its heart being about the importance of consent and communication during sex. A cover version of ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley also allows Alana to show off her impressive vocal talents and touch upon issues of mental health.
Some parts of the show, particularly the manufactured tension between Alana and her keyboardist Louise, left me a bit cold – but overall it was a solid offering.