RAW: Cabaret Fringe – A Doll’s House – Higher Ground – 3.5K

A Doll’s House brought together four of the prominent burlesque performers in Australia, each with their own unique talents and appeal. The evening was hosted by “Johnny Castrati”, a 16th century dandy with a naughty smile and a beautiful voice, created by Miss Burlesque Australia 2010, Rita Fontaine. He navigated us through the first act of the show, during which the remaining “dolls” – Flavella L’Amour, Zoe L’Amour and Ruby Rubber Legs – performed numbers ranging from more traditional, pretty, dance focused segments to daring fire twirling displays and a hilarious skeleton dance.  

Following an interval, the girls kicked the performance up a level with the appearance of a snake, a ladder of swords, an angle grinder, contortionism and an impersonation of our Prime Minister. While some of the segments may have made certain members of the audience uncomfortable, the girls are all accomplished professionals at their various trades and carried their pieces off with flair, while maintaining their sex-appeal.

The costumes were opulent and bountiful, with a good mix of classy glamour and outrageous bling. Castrati’s frock coat was a particular triumph, with divine blue and pink velour, embroidered floral cuffs and peacocks adorning his tail. Unfortunately, the decadence of the costumes accentuated the bareness of the stage. While this may have been necessary for some of the more daring numbers (fire twirling, angle grinding etc), something as simple as a colourful backdrop would have lifted the space without causing any danger. Technical glitches with lighting, sound and costume changes also detracted from the overall experience.

The other problem was the size of the audience. It is surprising that Adelaidians, who normally embrace such shows and turn out in droves, did not do so for a performance of such high calibre. Because of the small numbers present, the audience response – which is so important in any burlesque show – was sadly lacking, meaning that the overall energy was also below par.

This was a wonderful opportunity to see some of the country’s leading burlesque artistes do their thing and had it had the audience it deserved, the extra energy may have helped it to live up to its potential.

Kryztoff Rating: 3.5K

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