Most of the burlesque I have encountered has been of the Gypsy Rose Lee–inspired vamp but actually reveal little variety. This show presented by Twisted Vaudeville Circus was of a different genre. There was much more exposure, lots of nipple tassels twirling and cat-like sexy antics on the floor.
The MC Gina La Minge slinked onto the stage in a backless black velvet number and took charge in no uncertain manner laying down the rules of burlesque for the evening. She expected lots of interaction from the audience, loud applause and lots of cat calls. Most of the audience took her at face value and responded to the “menagerie of exotic dames” and the boylesque performers with enthusiasm. There were a few surprised faces however.
The first act Essie Foxglove and her huntsman companion were garbed in sumptuous Edwardian riding outfits. After much business her bustle was revealed to be a bushy tail and she disarmed the huntsman completely.
Gorgeously attired Stage Kitties in showgirl costumes were tasked with collecting discarded items of clothing after each act had left the stage.
Miss Burlesque Victoria, Bettie Bombshell had an energetic dance routine where she discarded many, many orange veils, to reveal a full figure with sassy rear end action.
Ava Royale was a dominatrix vision in black tutu, high lace up boots and more than a touch of Rocky Horror in her makeup and routine.
A surprise addition was the inclusion of a boylesque act. Trash Valentine cut a dashing figure in his side slashed harem pants, waistcoat and veils of claret coloured chiffon. He wore an elaborate facial jewellery mask which added to the Eastern exoticism. Even more interesting was the number of delicate strings he could tug to reveal an hilarious surprise finale.
Kelly Ann Doll was described by the MC as a pocket rocket and indeed she was one. Diminutive and superbly costumed in feathers she performed a high voltage routine with consummate skill.
What could have fallen flat was an audience judged interpretive dance competition with 3 drafted audience members. It didn’t because of the reactions of the draftees. One amazingly outgoing little bald man (Jeff), one who refused to participate at all, (Jeff) and his female partner (who elected to be called Jeff), a willing participant who won the audience vote. Her prize was a warm embrace from Trash Valentine clad only in strategically placed glitter and flourishing bearing two giant mauve ostrich feather fans. Harmless fun, but not as interesting as the burlesque routines.
Red Spider Lilly was extraordinary. Her hoop routine was very beautiful as well as demonstrating enormous strength. Clad in golden glitter, her act was one of pure skill. The hoop was raised to the top of the stage to showcase some stunning aerialist feats.
The finale was another boylesque act, Charlie de Bacal, a bearded, overalled handyman with a wardrobe of glittery silver spanners that he produced from surprising bodily places. Mr Boylesque Australia no less and very amusing too.
Twisted Vaudeville Circus is a very professional company, all are wonderful movers and their costuming is a lavish delight.
Twisted Vaudeville Circus
a menagerie of exotic dames
Venue: Empyrean Function Centre | 12 Lake St, Northbridge, WA
Dates: 29–30 January, 5–6, 12–13, 19–21 February 2016
Part of the 2016 Perth Fringe World Festival