It’s six-o’clock on a Monday night and I’m in Northbridge; *twitches*.
For those of you who have forgotten what James Street looks (and smells) like during the day—trust me, it’s better off this way.
As I make my way into Connections Nightclub, I am greeted by a cough-inducing cloud of artificial smoke. Ah, déjà vu.
Every year, Perth’s Fringe Festival overflows with Burlesque and Cabaret shows, and as an adoring fan of both, it can be an overwhelming burden to choose. But look no further.
Gender Blender Burlesque is the delectable concoction of Perth’s Drag and Burlesque communities. With an incredible cast of sensational and sultry performers, this show defies the boundaries of gender, and addresses the ever-important message of consent.
The night begins with our stars performing an elegant sixties-inspired routine. And even though we’ve just begun, I’m already hooked. Veruca Sour, Flo Reel, Karl Kayoss, Veronica Jean Jones, and Scarlet Adams, are fifty-shades of fucking fabulous.Karl Kayoss is the first to grace us with a solo performance, and oh lord. I have never been privy to a more beautiful blend of cabaret and gymnastics. He might have been the one with the chair, but I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
Then, our wonderful host, Ruby Slippers, takes the stage: “No matter what you choose to tape down, or show the world,” she says, “Burlesque is for everyone.”
Veronica Jean Jones, former Queen of The Court (pictured below) gifts us with a flexible and theatrical performance, before Scarlett Adams takes the stage.Adams was the first cis-male to enter Miss Burlesque Western Australia, and took home both the state and national titles (insert awe and applause). Scarlett sends the crowd “coco-loco” with her tropical performance, filled with grace and humour. Pulling the most absurd faces and donning a palm tree on her head—Scarlett’s unquestionable charm mesmerizes the audience, and somehow, simultaneously has them in stiches.
Flo Reel follows with a visual feat that tastes like cotton-candy. She then returns to perform with Adams and Jean Jones, in a witty routine about gimmicks that makes me feel like I’m on Broadway.
The last solo performance of the night is by Sugar Blue Burlesque’s Veruca Salt, whose playful performance to Please Don’t Touch Me echoes a powerful message of consent.
Our Gender Blender stars, including the adorably-witty Ruby Slippers, return to the stage one last time, closing off the night with a beautiful demonstration of personality and sexuality. In a Fringe World full of burlesque-cabaret performances, Gender Blender Burlesque provides something different. A spectacle of glamour, wit, talent and sensuality—this hot little number is not to be missed.
Gender Blender is showing at Fringe World Festival until February 16. Purchase your tickets here!