Revamped, revitalised and re-viewed
By Myron My
In Two Pound Parlour, Miss Friby (Elizabeth Dawson-Smith) returns from exile after performing “preposterous acts of showmanship”. In order to find the critic who made such comments, she gets her girls and boy together to create a spectacular show to coerce the reviewer to attend and then enact her revenge. Cue a big night of burlesque, dance, circus, vaudeville, comedy and songs!
It has been a year since I first saw Two Pound Parlour so I was keen to see how the show has evolved and developed over time, and for the most part, it has turned into something better. There are still a few skits that fall flat – the Vegas wedding (despite its changes) still doesn’t work and is more awkward than funny – but the energy and commitment the six performers put in is more than you could ask for.
The addition of Daniel Ham (Egson Ham) as the first ever male in Two Pound Parlour is an excellent choice. Apart from being able to perform the “male” roles, such as in “Not In A Gay Way”, the dynamic versatility he brings keeps things interesting. Also appearing for the first time as Unleashya Deville was Aleisha Manion, who along with Stephanie Marion Wood (Lady Stiff) stole many of the scenes they were in. Their role in “Heaven in a Box” was particularly hilarious and Wood’s vocal talents are more than impressive.
As an ensemble, the group works extremely well together and the pace and choreography are extremely tight. The showy tap dancing routine and the memorable stomping-dance number really highlight just how synchronised they are.
With some worn for only a few minutes, the vast array of costumes designed by Kim Ritchie and Sara Yael is testament to the amount of time and skill that has been spent on getting this show up again. The set design by Rob Smith needs to be mentioned for its creativity and really setting the scene for the audience. The music by band Rapskallion is of a high level and the song performed by Miss Friby and the two singers, Yael and Carmen O’Brien, is perfectly executed.
Two Pound Parlour is still a little rough around some of its sexy edges but overall, it is a highly welcome return for this group of talented performers and this returning critic will be interested to see where Miss Friby and her girls and boy go to next with this wild and crazy ride.
Venue: Revolt Productions, 12 Elizabeth Street Kensington
Season: Until 16 July | 7:30pm
Tickets: From $35.00