Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Overall rating: ★★★★★ Date attended: 02/03/2019
Jason Chasland aka Leather Lungs is what I'd like to call 'the voice of our generation', when it comes to shattering down the glass walls around gender fluidity, curiosity around sexuality, and acceptance around self-identity. This one-man drag cabaret show left me completely speechless because it is unlike any kind of show that I've seen.
Blessed by this unique Kwozzie (Kiwi-Australian) force of mother nature that descended upon us to bring us a show that was equal parts entertaining, educational, and electrifyingly delicious on so many levels, Leather Lungs was able to deliver a performance with a voice that will be memorable for many years to come. You look at Leather Lungs and you think, "Wow, he's got a fashion sense that will make him stand out for all the fabulous reasons". But then, he opens his mouth and you are literally and metaphorically blown away by what his pipes can do! His voice has the power to reach unthinkable yet impressive octaves that not only attract rave cheers from the audience to the point of a standing ovation but also leave you with shivers running down your spine, because of how hauntingly remarkable his performance is, covering hits from Aretha Franklin to Tina Turner to John Farnham.
Dressed in red from head to toe, we see Leather Lungs owning a see-through red bodysuit, complete with a bustier, and occasionally throwing on a hot pink fluffy coat that completes his look to present with this beautiful human, who stands in front us, all whilst proudly showing off his chiseled jaw with a well defined beard that would be the envy of any (and every) guy in the room. Leather Lungs prances around in razor-sharp stilettos on stage, as he presents to you a show that balances killer vocals with a narrative that theatrically represents the challenges around gender-based boundaries and the lack of respect that extends to anyone who may be "out of the ordinary", even if they're just being their fabulously expressive selves. He gives us snippets around dating woes, finding someone who will accept them for their identity, and encourages us to embrace our inner feisty selves, as he throws 17-inch dildos in the air, displays a level of flexibility through the bondage-style attire that doesn't seem to restrain him in the least bit, and does the splits like an effortless champion that he is.
The sexual tension created through Leather Lungs' performance makes the show as sensually pleasing as it is eye-opening. There are moments that will hit you right in the feels, as he shares snippets from his own life to weave into his songs to deliver the much-needed punch in an emotional context. There are other moments that will make you want to jump with joy and revel in the magnificence of Leather Lungs' company, which may or may not involve lots of feathers, frills, and frivolity.
Leather Lungs isn't just a fantastic singer, however, as he also possesses qualities of an energetic performer, who can make the room go wild with his bold and brilliant personality that makes waves of laughter and cheering throughout the show. His persona is warm, genuine, affectionate, and simultaneously sassy, savage, and simply put, bloody stunning!
While his may have finished for this year's Adelaide Fringe season, Leather Lungs made my weekend with his savage wit, his spellbinding pipes, and his loud and proud personality that perfectly matched his playfully titillatingly splendid cabaret show.