I have seen Asher Treleaven perform before as a stand-up comedian, and he was accomplished, but this show took inspired silliness to new heights.
The Heavens, Peter and Bambi, are our hosts for this “magical variety show”. Peter Heaven displayed hilarious ineptitude as the bumbling MC of a shambolic cavalcade of visiting acts. Needless to say each “guest artiste” was either Gypsy Wood or Treleaven himself, in an array of character disguises.
Treleaven’s cleverness and oddball charm lie in his immaculate timing. In character, he can tease seconds of querulous confusion into minutes of painfully funny routine.
In this show he is accompanied by his wife, the gorgeous Bambi (Gypsy Wood), a soubrette of delicious proportions and a rather wonderful dancer to boot. She epitomises the “beautiful assistant” so often seen in variety shows of yore, pointing and posing to perfection in glamourous, barely-there costumes and feathers.
The show began with a showy song and dance number with just enough false steps and mis-timings to set up the theme.
The first “guest” was “All the way from Tamworth, boot scooting queen, Sheree!” Wood returned booted and be-fringed to execute lively boot steps and horrible extended string work with her chewing gum. A couple of male audience “volunteers” acquitted themselves well on the stage boot scooting and turning the gum into an improvised skipping rope so that Sheree could fully demonstrate her agile moves.
This act was followed by an extraordinary creature called Kai, a Welsh wizard clad in a silky rainbow kaftan who set the stage with atmospheric lanterns, incense and wafted to and fro collecting additional props. His slippery, balletic, ethereal walk will stay with me for a long time! Kai segued into some juggling which made him look flamboyantly foolish.
The pace moved up a notch with a bold bondage-clad couple who displayed ridiculously showy contortions with a sword, a dagger and a lot of cucumbers. This performance ended abruptly and unfortunately with an awful dagger misthrow.
Cue to a new guest, ”a bit of a leg up for a young fellow making his way, Dave Callan.” The comedy hero tossed off a snappy routine before calling onto the stage a quartet of sharp, spunky dancers, resplendid in black lycra. Together they ripped into a Beyonce routine. The girls grinning ear to ear as Callan vamped his way through the central dance role. An unexpected treat.
Peter Heaven returned to the stage as the ever ineffectual host and indulged in some amusing, fatuous banter with the audience before the final act, Bambi’s return as a mystic psychic who could create a force field and allow Peter to levitate. As expected, this was a complete shemozzle.
Peter and Bambi returned to luxuriate in vociferous crowd appreciation as they danced their way to a finale.
An absurdly enjoyable hour of frivolous and foolish fun!
World By Night presents
Asher Treleaven & Gypsy Wood
Venue: Teatro 1 - Perth Cultural Centre | Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge, WA
Dates: 29 Jan – 4 Feb 2015