Archive for February, 2016

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Adelaide Fringe Review – Luna Eclipse’s Adult-ish

Absinthesalon

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To loosely paraphrase Lyle Lanley from The Simpsons – a die-hard Fringe performing showbo in a 9-5 job is a little like the mule with a spinning wheel. No one knows how they got it and danged if they know what to do with it.

 

Such is our understanding when Luna Eclipse takes to the La Boheme stage to convey her perilous decision to pursue a normal job, good accounting practices and the trappings of regular domesticity. Having artistically hip parents, one could pass this off as teenage rebellion if it wasn’t for the fact she is a decade too late for that.

 

The biggest difficulty I have in talking about the show is that it is very hard to describe without disclosing very important revelations about our comedic muse. There is a certain amount of time, place & circumstance about the show as it is, that any pre-knowledge would ruin the emotional empathy we have for her journey from hazelnut spread delirium to computational device rage.

 

luna

 

I can say there is music, burlesque, comedy (the most hilariously expressive eye movements in the business) and what I will describe as an audience participatory IVF game. I will also say that this is another highly citable example of an Australian burlesque aristocrat who is raising the bar by making a very personal story fit for the stage. In a world where burly-vaudeville is becoming as spontaneous as competitive ballroom dancing, Adult-ish is a drunken conga line with a limbo pole.

 

That should be reason enough to get a ticket for the remaining performances. See if she is still gainfully employed by the end of the week – anything could happen!

Posted by Jonathan on Feb 28th 2016 | Filed in Burlesque,Cabaret,Culture,People,Reviews | Comments (0)

Adelaide Fringe Review – Love, Loss & Latte’s

 

 

 

Love, Loss & Latte’s will linger like the flavours of a fine single origin roast, carefully ground and extracted at the perfect temperature.

A mixture of callisthenic movement, dance, aerial circus and monologue – Missy takes us on her personal journey with the roasted bean soup many of us love, maybe rely upon. And the point well-made is that everyone in modern society has a relationship with coffee – whether as a lover or an avoider. But it is inescapable, ubiquitous, both overtly and subtly punctuating waking moments of the world around us. Even in a society which forgoes their relationship with alcohol – coffee is the forgivable sin.

But it is both remedy and poison.

Coffee can be both an aid to endurance during our years of study, as it was for Missy’s, but it can also accentuate our very restlessness and our dissatisfaction. That difficult balance is expertly explored on a vertical pole, a cup of joe being expertly balanced upon outstretched appendages as Missy performs manoeuvres requiring a degree of muscle strength and anatomical prowess well beyond any initial illusion of her diminutive frame.   Even planted upon her head – always on her mind, even if unconsciously- it is ever present as she picks up the pieces of her life around her, this paradoxical movement & stillness frequently the utopian relationship we may strive for.

But withdrawal from this liquid life’s staff is no easy matter. The cravings and debilitation are palatable in Missy’s primal movements. If a cup of strong, black coffee was trying to beguile me – I’m sure it would also be speaking in seductive German and sounding like Blixa Bargeld over post-rock noisescapes. Upon the aerial silks, the long slow climb to detoxed functionality is marked with sine-wave crests and troughs, jaw dropping somersaults and spins being performed before us as she clutches on by the barest of handhold and foot bind. The metaphor of addiction has ever been thus.

But when the coffee is good, and the mind-body axis is prepared, it is the catalyst to creativity and productivity. To making good art, innovation– even fixing the world’s problems. Or just your own. Mental clarity at its sharpest, finding ourselves in that slipstream of mental flight. Much like Missy on a suspended aerial ring, not grappling desperately at the device swinging before us, but at one with it. She majestically moves, contorts, slides and curves on this pendulum, but always in total freedom.

There’s a few shows left this weekend – if you are a tea drinker, come to the dark side.

Posted by Jonathan on Feb 27th 2016 | Filed in Cabaret,Culture,People,Reviews | Comments (0)

Adelaide Fringe Review – Scarlett Belle’s Scarlett Letters

 

 

The language of erotic seduction is not French.

Italian? Understandable assumption, but incorrect.

Some suave Spanish? Very wide of the mark, I’m afraid.

There can be little doubt that nothing quite gets the oxytocins flowing like a good Scottish brogue, on either a man or woman for that matter.

 

Adorned in Eye’s Wide Shut masks in the dim ambiance of La Boheme, we the audience are inducted into this privileged circle of erotic reflection under the dulcet tones of a deep male voice best reserved for reading the shipping news, relating a scene of impending orgiastica. It is then our Edinburgh-based muse of amore, Scarlett Belle, takes the stage to conduct us through an episodic exploration of her sexual awakening from childhood to womanhood, in a sometimes confrontational confessional manner.

scarlett

But this is no Mea Culpa performance. Defiantly proud of the experiences that made her who she is – she tackles difficult subjects such as a child’s first understanding of sexual feelings, the inevitable teenage mating disaster, the effects of internet porn, drugs & sex and the exploration of veiled sexual modalities not approved by polite society and the local Vicar.

 

Well-constructed, hilarious but engaging monologues for each chapter in life challenge our understandings of the blurred lines between love and sex, and make us perhaps uncomfortably dwell on our own experiences. However, unlike Scarlett, few of us have the polished vocal chops to engage in such biting reflection on social mores through rip roaring show tunes and vaudeville smarts.

 

This doesn’t have to be a Fringe show. It is really bigger than that. It deserves to be bigger and maybe will over time.

 

Wouldn’t it be good to say you saw it first in the intimacy of a 50 person venue right at the start?

 

Sure it would….book here.

 

 

Posted by Jonathan on Feb 22nd 2016 | Filed in Cabaret,Culture,Music,People,Reviews | Comments (0)

Adelaide Fringe Review – Burlesque Idol Fringe Edition

 

 

The Burlesque Idol juggernaut is charging across the country under the directorship of Sarina de Fuego & Lola La Belle, with the vocal velvet of Michael Wheatley as MC, leaving a trail of glitter and Death In The Afternoon’s in their wake. On a mission to seek out the newest burly starlets to grace the stage of the national final later this year, just what did Adelaide have to offer?

 

Bang on point – Audrey Addiction set the bar high with smouldering gyrations and sloooooow anticipation. As noted by the judging, the aim should be to stay in clothes as long as humanly possible to maximise the tease and she had this down pat to maximise the pop. Her transition between moves was more polished than a Louis XV dresser.

 

Clover Cream tackled this challenge from a different angle – and ingeniously answered the question, what can you bring to your burlesque? There are few things as repressively Catholic as stiff backed Irish Line Dancing, which she worked in her favour as a springboard to break loose into a frantic burly routine to whiskey-drunk bodhran and fiddle jig & reel anarchy.

 

Ivy Fox took us to Broadway in cross-dress showgirl style, stylishly smart coat & tails made sexy. Ivy has very solid technique, piercing gaze with a wickedly seductive smile. Her movement was jazz music made visible and she made it known she was definitely a contender to take out this competition.

 

BurlyIdol

 

Vintage art deco elegance then graced the stage in the form of Lilly Evelyn, a familiar face from last year. As always her elegance and near art-like fragility was evident, her pace measured and a coy shyness that suits her particular execution of the art.

 

It was good to see some boylesque in this competition, and that particular quotient was fulfilled by the time-travelling Lord of Mis-rule who has been appearing nationally under many historical guises for a few years now. Tonight he bought Tom Baker’s Dr Who to the stage, act which may have caused a time-rift for many people’s childhood memories and reversed the polarity forever.

 

Luscious Larue is a force of nature – so subtlety is neither required nor desired as she worked every single joint in her body with each tom hit, cymbal crash and snare roll. Tightly choreographed, her bump & grind was primal, instinctual – she rightly demanded audience adoration for her tease & strip.

 

Having a story arc is increasingly a key method of making your burly stand out from the crowd, and Porcelain La Bon gave us a whimsical Amelie-like vintage vignette before cutting loose with an incendiary Charleston routine that left the floorboards charred and the venue an insurance problem.

 

Something that can set a performer apart is how you deal with disaster. So when Venus De la Rosa had a major zipper malfunction of the worst kind for a burly girl – being unable to get your kit off – she showed she was all kinds of woman by making her performance personality all the sexier, and in true 1920’s style, making thigh to ankle exposure the highest expression of public scandal. In what may well reflect a mature thinking appreciative voting crowd – she rightfully received first runner up this night.

 

It is good to go out with a bang. Or a chainsaw. Or other blunt object one may need during a Zombie Apocalypse. And for that we can thank Viola Verve, who worked Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as a catalyst to show she is bringing sexy back…from the grave. It is clever production smarts like this that ensures the burly arts is equal parts ingenuity to the expected sass & style.

 

If I were to give a broader critique to potential contestants – stay out of your own head, and don’t “count” your routine like it was ballroom dancing. The difference between those who lose themselves to being in the spotlight, compared to those overly focussed on technicality can be stark. And in the end, this is about entertainment.

 

The night, pleasantly, went to Clover Cream. She was clearly a crowd favourite – and while it is less common for “novelty acts” to win these sorts of competition, it would be true to say she smashed down the often seen barrier between an act that was played for a degree of comedic fun and those focussed on showing flow, balance & seamless technique.

 

Burlesque Idol rolls on to the Eastern states next – be sure to get your tickets and support local developing burlesque talent.

Posted by Jonathan on Feb 21st 2016 | Filed in Burlesque,Cabaret,Culture,Events,Reviews | Comments (0)

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