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Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016 (Various Venues, London): Review

lenard pink's history lecture tours 2016 Seeing Pink! Mel Adams as Lenard Pink in "Lenard Pink's History Lecture Tours 2016." Photograph: Courtesy of badlanguagetours.

Outrageous and scandalous, Lenard not only tickles you pink, but also fascinatingly informs in Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016.

Overview

Be spirited around a London gallery or area by international homosexual and historian, Lenard Pink, as Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016 delivers walking tours with a flamboyant and hilarious difference.

lenard pink's history lecture tours 2016

Seeing Pink! Mel Adams as Lenard Pink in “Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016.” Photograph: Courtesy of badlanguagetours.

Concept

Lenard Pink is a character that has been around for a bit, having appeared first on YouTube and putting on a full length theatre show at the Leicester Square Theatre last year. Created by Mel Adams, Lenard Pink is a cabaret character that combines old school camp with new school naughtiness and knowledge who is blissfully entertaining. As Adams is a fully qualified London tour guide and keen historian, having trialed Lenard in the theatre, Adams is now taking Lenard to the streets and galleries of London.

The combination of knowledge and character comedy is an absolute winner. Lenard’s inappropriate interactions with both paying customers and those around them are absolutely hilarious. No-one is safe from his advances, asides, interference, or criticisms (especially those sketching on the tour around the National Portrait Gallery), and the results are rib-crackingly funny: Lenard has no shame and is not afraid to voice it. But what really singles Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016 out from the ordinary is the actual history Lenard takes you through. Even if you consider yourself not particularly historically ignorant, Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016 takes you through aspects of history that are not widely considered or talked about, as well as throwing in some of his own cheeky opinions.

On “Merry Monarchs and Dirty Trollops”, Lenard’s tour around the National Portrait Gallery, things like the gender of one of our queens and the identity of one of our most famed writers, are presented with naughty aplomb and the results are intriguing. But as controversial as some of these can be, they’re none the less based in fact: Lenard/Adams is a respected historian after all and does not resort to telling porkies. But everything in Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016 is presented as an alternate consideration rather than an outright rebuttal of what we thought we knew, whilst being there for entertainment, not just enlightenment. Then there are other subjects which are very true but perhaps too impolite to be illuminated by other tour guides, such as which king had an enormous palace just for his mistresses, and what to do with an aborted fetus in the middle of a Georgian ball?! All are incredibly interesting and some completely surprising.

The only problem is that sometimes Lenard does tend to witter a touch too long on one of his many tangents. But 9 out of 10 times, it’s these digressions that are the most spontaneous and unexpected parts of the evening that really make Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016 fantastic. Adams’ blend of fringe history and scandalous facts make for a completely fascinating tour regardless of Lenard’s flamboyant character. But it’s this dressing that makes what is already good outlandishly great. If history were taught like this in schools – entertaining, uncensored, and unabashed – we’d have a nation of scholars.

lenard pink's history lecture tours 2016

Pretty as a portrait. Lenard Pink in full flow in ‘Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016’. Photograph: Courtesy of badlanguagetours.

Performance

Adams does a great job making Lenard a tour guide, but that’s not surprising as Adams is an actor and a fully qualified tour guide when they’re not Lenard. But it’s Adam’s propensity for directly interacting and responding to the audience, and berating members of the public that makes, them a supreme joy to be around. Even as a tour guide and not a character performance, Adams ensures that what they’re telling you is done in an engaging way that will keep you interested. Then, Adam garnishes genuine curiosity with antics that are just out-rightly hilarious. But as camp and unashamed as Adams’ international homosexual and historian is, Adams still has some restraint, never letting things get too unwieldly by always reading their audience brilliantly. Adams never pushes anyone’s sensibilities too far or go on for too long. Adams most talented gift is that they’re a master of spontaneity, and gives as good as they get, if not better, at what’s thrown at him. Some of the best moments of Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016 are in just how he assails unsuspecting members of the general public, and how they respond to him.

Verdict

I laughed till I cried, and genuinely learned something! Lenard Pink’s History Lecture Tours 2016 has has never before made the past so hilarious or riveting. An utterly unique and outrageously entertaining find for both local history buffs and London visitors. Book immediately!

The next Lenard Pink History Lecture Tours 2016 will be “Merry Monarchs and Dirty Trollops” at the National Portrait Gallery, London, WC2H 0HE, on 5, 12, 19, and 26 February 2016. Tickets are £12. Other tours will run at various venues across London on selected dates throughout 2016. To book, and for more information, visit www.facebook.com/lenard.pink, email lenardpink@gmail.com or call Lolly Pop on 07964936410.