Lady Boys of Bangkok in taxi tie-up

Taxi driver John Simpson encounters the Lady Boys in the Meadows. Picture: Jane Barlow

Taxi driver John Simpson encounters the Lady Boys in the Meadows. Picture: Jane Barlow

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Taxi drivers in the Capital have been putting the cab in cabaret in a bid to help raise funds for their annual charity drive.

World-famous “showgirls” act the Lady Boys of Bangkok have rolled out the red carpet for taxi drivers – inviting the cabbies to a special performance in the hope they will recommended the show to passengers.

And as well as hailing new fans, Sunday’s performance also picked up £3500 for the annual Edinburgh Taxi Trade Children’s Outing.

Now in its 67th year, the event sees drivers take children with special needs, life-limiting conditions and terminal illnesses on a trip to the seaside.

Alex Lyon, chairman of the committee which organises the event, said: “The Lady Boys is an excellent night out.

“They give us the tickets and we hand out them out to the drivers and simply ask them to make a donation at the end of the night – this year we managed to raise £3500 for the taxi outing.”

Alex, who has seen the show twice, said: “I think it’s great that the Lady Boys organise this for us and in doing so support our charity.

“We pick up a lot of passengers and the hope is that you will tell them if you have had a great time – it seems drivers really do.”

The Lady Boys first came to the Capital almost 16 years ago and have since become a mainstay of the Edinburgh Fringe.

Each of the Lady Boy showgirls, who perform a range of musical and cabaret routines, began life as males.

The act is billed as a “Moulin Rouge experience” cabaret, with a licensed bar and seating at tables.

Licensed taxi driver Keith Bell from Sighthill said: “The taxi driver show has been going for two or three years – it’s quite a clever idea. If someone jumps in to your taxi and asks if you can recommend a show for the festival, and you’ve enjoyed it, you’re going to tell them about it.

“And it’s usually held on the first night, so I think it gives the Lady Boys a chance to have a bit of a rehearsal before the rest of the shows. It’s pretty much a win-win situation for everyone, because it raises money for a good cause.”

Tickets for the spectacular, which is held in the Meadows, normally cost up to £36 – with capacity for an audience of 700.

Cast members in colourful costumes, feathers and bikinis will appear at an astonishing 49 performances over three weeks.

A spokesman for the show said: “The best recommendation for any show is through word of mouth.

“Taxi drivers are constantly talking to their passengers – our potential customers – and we thought if we took them out to see the show they would really enjoy it and want to talk about it.

“It’s a great night out and we really hope that when people hear their recommendations they will take them on board and come along themselves.”