Velvet | Organised Pandemonium and Strut & Fret Production HouseGet ready for a toe-tapping, hand-clapping, disco inferno as you party with legendary diva Marcia Hines and a talented cast of eight vocal, dance and acrobatic stars. Like its name, Velvet is a smooth, sexy, extravaganza that will delight your senses and leaving you “boogying” in your seat.

Entering its third year but premiering in Perth for the first time, this show is a well-oiled machine, delivering a professional, high-energy performance that delights audiences. Although Marcia Hines is the star attraction, she is supported by an equally talented cast who all have their own strengths and perform mind-boggling, jaw-dropping feats to a disco soundtrack. Expect to hear hits like “Its raining men”, “Shake Your Groove Thing”, “Boogie Wonderland” and “Le Freak.

The show is a visual treat with bright, dazzling lighting, complemented by costumes that shimmer, sparkle and pop with colour. Marcia Hines makes her grand entrance about twenty minutes in and appears like a giant gold Logie, in a tight, gold, shining dress.

Velvet is like a disco variety show with a loose storyline to tie the acts together.  The story is set in a nightclub inspired by New York’s Studio 54 that operated in the 70’s. It is within the nightclub that a young man, played by Tom Oliver, explores his sexuality, idolises disco and eventually embraces his desires and “comes out of the closest”.

One of the darker moments in the show was the depiction of a BDSM act, which developed the story of the young man exploring his sexuality. It also gave the producers a chance to add that little bit of that edginess we’ve come to expect from the Fringe Festival.  In another scene our protagonist sings a slowed down version of “Staying Alive” to explain his torment as identifying as gay. I found this scene to jar with the rest of the content and stop the flow of the storyline. Being so close to the end of the show there was no time to resolve our central character’s struggles. I found the depressing scene sent me into a trance-like state and then it was hard to lift my mood for the final upbeat number before the show had ended.

Despite that mild criticism Velvet is still one of my top picks of this year’s Lotterywest Fringe World Festival. There are many memorable moments – from the incredible Hula Boy Craig Reid’s human slinky impression, to Emma Goh’s ability to suspend herself from a spinning ring by only her six-inch heels, to Mirko Kockenberger’s amazing balancing handstand feats and sexy Stephen William’s rope talents. There is something for everyone!

It is little wonder this show won the Adelaide Advertiser Best of Fringe 2015 and the Bank of South Australia’s Pick of the Fringe 2015.  I’m sure this show will take Perth’s audiences by storm as well and leave them saying “please sir, can I have some more?”

Organised Pandemonium and Strut & Fret Production House present

Venue: Spiegeltent, FRINGE WORLD Pleasure Garden, Northbridge
Dates: 20 Jan – 19 Feb 2017
Tickets: from $45


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