Tag: beauty


Bearing all for her art

By Myron My

Before you even walk through the door of the La Mama Theatre, you are greeted by a woman wearing high heels, a shawl and sparkling jewellery. And that’s it. For 29 years, Maude Davey has been taking off her clothes in public and My Life In The Nude is a celebration of Davey’s work throughout those years.

Davey regales us with stories such as her entry into the Miss Wicked Competition in 1991 to teaching burlesque for deaf and disabled women. Some stories are so outlandish that they are bordering on absurd that they are almost hard to believe, but all of Davey’s stories captivate and engage us.

Maude Davey

The costume changes are eye-catching and varied to say the least. At one point Davey wears a gorilla suit whilst dancing to ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera, a sparkly number that almost blinds us with its shimmer to a costume once owned by Jeanne Little (enough said on that one).

Davey has certainly led an intriguing life but she has put a lot of thought into this show and has taken a creative and humorous but sincere look at body issues, nudity and sexuality through a performer’s perspective and what it means to be naked on stage to them. Davey talks about her breast reduction at 17 and the threshold of judgement we have from each other and upon ourselves.

There is a strong message in Davey’s show and that is, as she clearly puts it at one point: “I am beautiful and I am worthy of your regard”. In today’s age with so many body issue images pressuring us, it’s a great reminder that we all have beauty and that it is there waiting for us to appreciate it.

Davey’s finale is powerful and the room was utterly enthralled by her. The image of her full of anxiety and fear and then her cover of Anthony and the Johnsons’ ‘Am I ever Going to see Your Face Again’ was a beautiful moment of live performance we seldom see on stage.

My Life In The Nude ran for almost half an hour over its advertised time but I would gladly have sat there another hour and be dazzled by Maude Davey’s tales. A great show not to be missed.

Venue: La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street Carlton

Season: Until 21 July | Thurs-Sat 7:30pm, Wed, Sun 6:30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $15 Conc

Bookings: http://lamama.com.au or 9347 6142

REVIEW: One for the Ugly Girls at LA MAMA

Things get ugly

By Myron My

In One for the Ugly Girls by Tahli Corin, Alistair (Syd Brisbane) is an artist searching for a lookalike of his late wife so that he can bring her back to life on canvas.

One For The Ugly Girls

Jade (Lori Bell) responds to his request online and although she is not the ideal image of beauty and not exactly what Alistair has envisaged, he agrees to paint her – until a second Jade (Hannah Norris) arrives and things get a little complicated.

Most of the themes that One for the Ugly Girls deals with are skimmed through and not much closure or complexity is given to the characters. The intense themes of loss, holding on to the past and longing to be loved are all present but they are just glossed over.

Furthermore, there is a lot of raw emotion in the play and sadly, it is to its detriment. The scenes of excessive shouting and yelling seem unnecessary and moments of anger towards others appear without real motive or reason.

Unfortunately Brisbane fails to get the audience to empathise with Alistair as we never really get to know what he is thinking and who he really is. There are a few times when the choices he makes seem to be completely out of character. Furthermore, the motivations of the two Jades for doing what they have done are never explained and you are left with quite a few questions by the end.

In saying that, I would have liked to see more of the two Jades’ relationship. Even though this was predominantly a story revolving around Alistair, there was so much going on between the two girls that it warranted some form of exploration, and suggested a history to be expanded upon.  However, both Bell and Norris put in very strong performances and play their characters quite convincingly given the material they’ve got.

Overall, I felt stronger direction was needed by first-time director Adriana Bonaccurso for a play such as this, to allow the story to evolve in a more organic way. One for the Ugly Girls had the potential to be something special but lost its way in the process.

Venue: La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street Carlton

Season: Until 19 May | Wed, Fri 8:30pm. Thurs, Sat-Sun 6:30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $15 Conc

Bookings: http://lamama.com.au or 9347 6948