top of page
  • Writer's pictureLisa in the theatre

REVIEW - Reuben Kaye: The Butch is Back [Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023]

Updated: Mar 26


Reuben Kaye, The Butch is Back Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023.

This is simple: Reuben Kaye is the best live performer I have ever seen. He is mesmerising, stunningly talented, wickedly funny, divine. I adore everything about him.

Since seeing him perform for the first time at last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe I have been counting the days until he was back on UK soil. Well he's back, and the gorgeous Palais du Variete in Assembly George Square Gardens is the perfect grand venue to host the superstar this year.

In 'The Butch is Back' Reuben entertains the audience with an hour of cabaret, comedy and cutting judgements on society. He's flamboyant, outspoken and sharp as pin. Backed by a fantastic live band, Reuben races through songs from Stormzy, Geri Halliwell, The Rolling Stones and Janelle Monae. But it was his heart-breaking version of The Cure's 'Boys Don't Cry' that was the musical highlight for me. Just stunning.

Somewhat shorter than last year's Fringe offering, this version of 'The Butch is Back' is 60 minutes long (as opposed to 90 minutes last year.) As a result, some of the audience interaction has gone from the show. Many audience members may actually breathe a sigh of relief at that! However Reuben still packs plenty into the hour, and the show loses none of it's impact nor sparkle.

Known for his filthy and sometimes divisive comedy, Reuben also takes time during this show to explore the impact his relationship with his father had on him as a queer, creative child. Beautifully poignant, and desperately sad, Reuben nonetheless manages to cut the tension in the room with some razor-sharp digs at his mother, his Jewish heritage, and even draws comparison between masculinity and the apocalypse.

Reuben is a fabulous, fearless, icon and this is a blistering hour of comedy cabaret. I screamed at his jokes and was transfixed by his charisma. I spent a spectacular hour in the company of a bona fide superstar. And you could too! 'The Butch is Back' plays at the Edinburgh Fringe until Sunday 27th August; and his late night cabaret 'The Kaye Hole' plays until Saturday 26th.


When and Where?

Venue: Assembly George Square Gardens, Palais du Variete

Dates: 15 - 27 Aug (not 21)

Time: 19:50 (60mins)

Age Restriction and Content Warnings:


Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, strobe lighting, strong language/swearing


➡️ Read my review of Reuben's show, The Butch is Back! from the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe here:


About Reuben Kaye

Reuben Kaye, Chambers Touring Ltd

Fast, on the edge and brutally funny, multi-award winning, Australian comedian, singer and writer Reuben Kaye is loud, politically active, queer, brash and the winner of Best In Breed at Crufts 2022 (he thought he was entering a different type of competition).

After racking up millions of views across Tiktok, Youtube and Instagram plus appearances on Spicks and Specks, The Melbourne International Comedy Fest Galas (ABC), Celebrity Letters & Numbers (SBS) and in the UK, Channel 4 and BBC’s You’re Fired, Kaye is now the danger man to watch on the scene.

Backed by his band The Close Contacts, Reuben’s unmissable live shows have sold out in Australia, London and Europe, gleefully proving that he is the much needed Swarovski studded revolt against ever narrowing views - and he’s done it all while looking fabulous!


REVIEW - Reuben Kaye: The Butch is Back! (Comedy, Drag, Cabaret) at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023

🎟️ Disclosure: I am an Edinburgh Festival Fringe accredited media reviewer and as such I receive complimentary press tickets in exchange for my honest reviews. My reviews and star ratings are always my honest opinions.

📧 For media and review requests contact

💗 To see more pictures and videos follow @Lisa_InTheTheatre on Instagram

Lisa in the theatre, theater, reviews, blog, Scotland, Scottish


bottom of page