Archive for February, 2016

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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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