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COMEDY PREVIEW: Waen takes a very Strange look back at New Romantics; Gary Le Strange The Tron Theatre,Glasgow.

Byline: Jonathan Trew

ALTHOUGH they never mention it, many of those who grew up in the Eighties have a shameful secret they were New Romantics.

Now, 20 years later, most of the wounds have healed, even if memories of dodgy make-up and Flock Of Seagull haircuts have never gone away.

As part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, comedian Waen Shepherd is reliving those years under the guise of Gary Le Strange.

A self-styled neo-regency Face Warrior, Shepherd's character Gary is a send-up of all the peacock poseurs who made the jump from the Blitz Club to Top Of The Pops in the early Eighties.

When his show, Polaroid Suitcase, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival last year, it won the Best Newcomer Award.

A mix of Bowie, Gary Numan and Visage, Gary pricks the pretension of the dandy highwaymen whose fashion sense was foolishly copied in many a school disco of the day. On stage, Gary's PVC pants hint strongly that he is not taking it all too seriously.

Shepherd said: 'It allows me to do something that's musical and character comedy at the same time. And to prance around the stage in tights.

'I was too young to have ever really been a New Romantic, but I was a big fan of Adam and the Ants when was nine so I guess that's where this whole idea started.'

In his act, Shepherd spoofs the songs of the era with Gary Numan's Are Friends Electric being turned into Gary Le Strange's Is My Toaster Sentient.

Although Shepherd's show relentlessly pokes fun at the New Romantics, the survivors from that time who have seen it have taken it in good humour.

Shepherd laughed: 'Steve Strange from Visage came to one of the shows and said he really liked it.'

There is a recommendation. Anything that can make an old New Romantic crack a smile has to be worth a peek.

Gary Le Strange is at the Tron Theatre, tonight. Tel: 0141 552 4267.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 19, 2004
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