This is a nifty little show with some jazzy, amusing turns from its all female ensemble of young dancers. The stage is awash with smoke, coloured lights blaze: it could be the set of Young Talent Time. Dressed in cheap baby doll dresses, the girls launch into a cakewalk-esque number where they spend much of their time on tippy toes. Trying to be something they’re not? Ladies perhaps. Craig Wood’s music here is dated, in a pleasing way, and sets a nicely twisted tone for what follows.

The girls become less and less concerned with appearances, every scene stranger than the last as they abandon their inhibitions. There’s a hilarious moment where they trot out each swinging one of those green Woolworths bags, from which emerges a bottle of wine. The girls proceeds to swig away, dancing and swigging, until all too soon some of the best drunk dancing I’ve ever seen ensues (by which I don’t mean dancing while drunk, as that’s certainly a common enough sight, but dancing to portray being drunk). Even the sight of them passing out one by one is amusing yet somehow poignant.

But the ladettes have other interests, including reading, buying shoes, putting on a naughty show Men’s Gallery style (this part is a bit obscure), and perhaps even, it’s hinted, cleaning up their acts once and for all in favour of motherhood.

The concept is great, and could be developed, with further variations on the theme. Angela Barnard’s choreography is inventive and features a wide range of styles.  The dancers are most comfortable when drama and dance are seamlessly combined, rather than when approaching these as separate moments. At times they seem too focused on their moves but this dissolves in the stronger sections, when they let go and really enjoy their characters. Perfectly Secret is a fun approach to dance and, rather unexpectedly, offers insightful comment on the lives of today's young women.

Hot Vanilla present
Perfectly Secret
as part of the Hobart Fringe Festival

Peacock Theatre
Dates/Time: 16th and 17th April at 9.00 pm
Tickets: $5

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