Adelaide Fringe 2015: SHAKE! Review


I’m somewhat optimistic with the changes I am seeing in burlesque of late. More than just a collection of routines and loosely appended cabaret, there are story arcs, dialogue and comedy. SHAKE! By (Miss Burlesque Victoria 2013) Becky Lou is an embodiment of this evolution.


It is a time honoured piece of advice to writers to “write about what you know’ – but as many authors point out, this is not about retelling history, but about revisiting emotions.   And while SHAKE! is an autobiographical production tracing the events and milestones that shaped Becky Lou’s trajectory to a Burlesque belle, more importantly what she shares with the audience is a big beating heart worn on her sleeve.




Her story, starting from a Madonna-inspired childhood, moving through awakening teen sexuality and the realities of suffering artistic compromise to pay the bills, is interspersed with sexy strip numbers to ensure the baring of her body and soul are in equal measures.


And in this, there may be something in particular that the burlesque practitioner brings to the performing arts that makes the reception of thought provoking monologues and comedic delivery most effective. Becky Lou is an adept in the eye to eye, of pulling an audience in and holding a room. So, despite her softy spoken nature –when she has our attention through her physical prowess, she then uses this to good measure to unfurl her cerebral musings on her life and motivations.


In so doing, this show becomes greater than the sum of its parts. It is erotic, laced with hilarity and moments of introspection and poignancy. As such, I think many burlesque performers are now on notice that ‘technique’ transcends physical dexterity, dance routines and clever props. It is as much about whether you have a story to tell – any story – and can you take the audience on that journey?

SHAKE! is playing until the 15 March 2015 at the Adelaide Fringe @ The Coffee Pot off Rundle Mall.


Jonathan Mar 4th 2015 11:10 pm Art,Burlesque,Cabaret,Culture,People,Reviews No Comments yet Trackback URI

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