Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

Glasgow’s own Reba Martell is in the exquisitely wicked form that she has made her name with. With a set that shocks, teases and leaves you with a massive smile on your face, this is drag of the highest order that can be enjoyed by all.

Salt’n’Sauce! sees Martell leap from topic to topic, approaching each with as much gusto and humour as the last. This ranges from political and historical vignettes to more loving (or loathing) observations about modern Scotland. With her unmistakable accent, Martell is a queen of the Scottish drag scene who is an utter joy to behold. Her personality almost feels too large for the tiny stage in Planet Bar, deserving of a much bigger arena than the Fringe can give her. The subject hopping in Martell’s set might feel a bit inconsistent, but by the time you have collected yourself after her latest incendiary gag, you won’t remotely care.

Her sense of humour is scandalous but in good faith. Some of her more on-the-nose comments are met with  shocks of laughter more than anything else, but Martell did not become a drag sensation by being mild-mannered. Often she balances perfectly on the edge of going too far, never losing her audience to dismay and confusion. They always know how to react as Martell unveils her show before their eyes, the drag queen having such a command over her audience. Normally, said reaction is nothing less than hearty smiles and loving laughs.

Martell’s show is especially great for anyone who has not seen a drag show before. She takes time out of her jestering – particularly towards the end – to explain drag’s significance, and hints at its importance fifty years on from the Stonewall Riots. One of the most powerful moments in the whole show actually follows an amusing comment about trying to find a bag in Marks and Spencers. Martell’s cocktail of humour and sincerity, shaken together like a pitch perfect pink lady, underlines exactly how drag finds significance in the 21st century. The way she can introduce new generations to drag provides a golden opportunity for liberation, laughs and libidos that Martell admits proved to be her salvation. A very special show indeed.