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Adelaide Fringe Review 2017 – Becky Lou’s Real Woman

It is rare to attend a burlesque show and find one is in fact witness to a journey akin to Inanna’s Descent Into the Underworld. Just as the Goddess of Love, War, Fertility & Wisdom is forced to shed garments the deeper into the chthonic realms she descends, so too Becky Lou’s “Real Woman” sheds the accoutrements of her Art to face a climatic realisation of self-knowledge.

Burlesque may be glamour, but the root meaning of glamour also pertains to illusion. For many, the illusion is important (and valid) because it is aspirational fantasy. And clearly amongst the burlesque sorority (and emerging fraternity) bonds are made between performers of rare strength. But what happens when one achieves reputation as a strong powerful woman, independent, free and artistic – but emotionally your innermost being still feels like a stage kitten, picking up after the main act?

Becky L

Real Woman is therefore not a burlesque cabaret performance as such, but it is a show about burlesque – in so much as it has been an important way point on a bigger expedition.

She openly reminisces on the projections ingrained into young women as teenagers through to their thirties, which may trigger your own memories about how you learned sexual realpolitik, the power imbalances in gender, and how you overcame the societal programming. Or maybe you didn’t? Or maybe you were on the other side of that equation? On the turn of an anecdote we frequently slid from hilarity to deep introspective thought. Or tears. Our silences were the bookmarks between her time-travelling chapters.

Let it be said, Becky is a cabaret psychopomp who never carelessly played with our emotions, but gave us our own informed opportunity to engage with them. And I hasten to add, that she refused to leave us in the underworld. Kicking and screaming we were regularly dragged from melancholy into rapturous delight, a seasonal & cyclical re-emergence into the upper world.

Expect this show to make you laugh and cry simultaneously. And it is going to feel awkward. That may be something to be thankful for.  There is an excellent run of shows left over the remainder of the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Posted by Jonathan on Mar 8th 2017 | Filed in Burlesque,Cabaret,People,Reviews,Theatre | Comments (0)

Adelaide Fringe Review 2017 – The Curiosity Experiment

The smell of Carclew House is all old wood and leather. Its 19th Century grandeur is a vestibule of memories imbedded in the lacquered patina, the sort of place you would expect denizens of the afterlife to dwell (and popular legend asserts this is so!). What more fitting place is there to stage The Curiosity Experiment?

No more than 13 personages are admitted per performance. When one walks into the antique lined Board Room allocated, we become conscious that this will not follow standard theatrical formula – with we, the audience, separated from events. Rather, that this will be immersive drama.

curiosity

The blindfolds on the table are amongst the first things you’ll notice. An instruction is given on how to withdraw from the performance lest your nerve not withstand the events that will unfold, with the caveat that you will not be permitted to re-enter. Be warned there will be sensory deprivation of a manner, but only to amplify the perceptions of the remaining senses in order to better facilitate your imagination, wherever that may take you.

Tapping into the tradition of post-War Spiritualist methodology, by séance & psychometry, we the participants are led into a performed purgatory of restlessness amongst auditory apparitions condemned by tragedy. How and what transpires, I am really not at liberty to say. Nor could I assert my particular experience will be in anyway analogous to yours.

It is, however, amongst the more innovative & intimate stagings I have encountered at a Fringe Festival. And a chance for a seat at the table is becoming progressively in limited supply. It’s the quick or the dead I’m afraid.

Posted by Jonathan on Mar 4th 2017 | Filed in Culture,Reviews,Theatre | Comments (0)