By Jay Menard
For years, Mike Delamont has elicited tears from his audience — tears of laughter and tears of joy. As the cross-dressing deity with a brogue, Delamont has delighted fans and sent them home with a smile on their lips and (unfortunately) that damn Proclaimers’ song in their hearts.
Delamont again elicits a strong reaction with his new show, Mike Delamont: Mama’s Boy — but the tears are of sadness, commiseration, and pathos. And as he finishes with a mournful rendition of The Nylon’s Rock and Roll Lullabye, the audience is left with a feeling of connection, appreciation, and a strong desire to call your mom.
Delamont has dominated Fringes with his God is a Scottish Drag Queen, but strips down — both literally and figuratively in this show. No wig, makeup, and frock, Delamont takes to the stage in nothing more than a black t-shirt and jeans. The accent is gone, but what’s left is a pure, sincere, and painfully honest voice.
He recounts the story of his relationship with his mother. An alcoholic who raised him alone after his father passes away when he’s seven. Delamont talks about how the two of them take turns taking care of each other — the pejorative nature of “Mama’s Boy” balanced by the sincere appreciation he has for a woman who tried her hardest and loved her strongest.
Of course, Delamont infuses the story with humour — but just enough to break the tension and assure the audience that everything’s going to be OK. But there were tears. The end of the play is punctuated by several sniffles in the crowd and copious wiping of eyes.
This show is no God. But in many ways it’s better, more honest, and touching. It’s still very funny, but it’s strength is its incredible poignancy. It’s an absolutely beautiful show.
Delamont’s Mama’s Boy may not be based on religion like his previous efforts, but this show has so much more soul.
***** – Five stars out of five.
This review originally appeared on theatreinlondon.ca.