Tag: James Worsnop

REVIEW: Four Letter Word Theatre Presents THE WILD PARTY

Let the fun begin

By Bradley Storer

Upon entering the Main Stage area at Revolt, the audience is immediately immersed in the dingy but seductive Prohibition-era charms of the ‘speak easy’, with tables set up close to the stage and lit eerily by candles. The dark cavernous space of Revolt seems an oddly fitting place for this 1920’s tale of a party thrown by a pair of vaudeville performers on their last legs – a potent cocktail of sin, depravity and eventual tragedy.

Rosa McCarty is a knockout as Queenie the party’s hostess, a blonde bombshell past her prime, throwing herself into the fading performer’s depths of hedonism and disillusionment with abandon and a fierce belt.

The Wild Party

James Cutler is continually compelling as the brutish Burrs, her abusive and bullying husband, bringing ferocious energy and sinister glee to the role that makes him exciting to watch. Their volatile and destructive relationship, although disturbing, is vividly invoked by the two performers.

The musical unfortunately has trouble finding its feet in the first act. Despite a cavalcade of strange and curious characters that pour onstage at the beginning of the show, including a charming polysexual predator (Ed Deganos), a lesbian stripper and her borderline comatose lover (Samantha Hammersley and Renee Pope-Munro) and a creepily close pair of male twins (Samuel Dariol and James Worsnop), there is a lack of energy onstage which makes the ‘party’ atmosphere hard to maintain. Maree Barnett as the cunning diva looking for a comeback emits smouldering ambition, while wielding a pair of surprisingly flexible legs like a weapon. The arrival of Kate, a vaudevillian star and Queenie’s best friend/enemy (played with commanding confidence by Alana Kiely), and her lover Black (Christian Cavallo) raises the spirits of the ensemble considerably, culminating in an Act Two ode to gin that explodes with an dynamic vitality that has been missing so far.

A daring move is the inclusion of a secondary ensemble, a collection of malevolent Satanic spirits who seemingly manipulate and corrupt the characters unseen by anyone whilst wandering offstage and through the audience – a very original idea, which has mixed results throughout the evening. While feeling like an unnecessary addition in the first act, director Robbie Carmellotti finds some electrifying tableaus in the second act that utilize them to a better degree.

An evening of daring and boundary-pushing theatre that, while sometimes not entirely succeeding, is nevertheless admirable for the depth of its invention and ambition.

VENUE: Revolt Melbourne, 12 Elizabeth St, Kensington

DATES: 31st July – 3rd August

TIME: Tue to Sat 7:30pm, Sun 3pm

TICKETS: A Reserve $60/Concession $40, B Reserve $45/ Concession $30, C Reserve $25, Table of 8 $900

BOOKINGS: www.fourletterwordtheatre.com, www.revoltproductions.com,  boxoffice@revoltproductions.com , at the door.

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REVIEW: A VERY GAGA VARIETY FUNDRAISING NIGHT

Variety night an exciting preview for new musical

By Scarlett Harris

Last night at their new location on Carson Place in the city, The Butterfly Club hosted a Lady Gaga variety show in an effort to raise funds for the latest creative endeavour of Kin Collaborative’s Melbourne Uni student arm. Kin CoLaboratory’s MUD Festival entry, Gaga & Assange, promises to be a romp of epic pure-pop proportions.

Gaga and Julian Assange both rose to dizzying heights of infamy around the same time: she with her anthem of tolerance, “Born This Way”, and he with the release of U.S. diplomatic cables and apparent “honey-trapping” rape charges.

Gaga & Assange

Gaga & Assange plays on this theme of sex, introducing the two via a sex-tape- and STD-fuelled romp—a “Bad Romance”, if you will—and going on to dissect the egos and dogmas of two of pop culture’s most recognisable names and faces.

But as for last night, it was a riotous tribute to all things Mother Monster, with renditions of “Paparazzi” by Gaga & Assange creator, Will Hannagan; Gaga’s Tony Bennett effort, “The Lady is a Tramp”, with G&A director and MC for the night, Jeremy Russo; and “Bad Romance”, “Alejandro” and “Americano” by Melbourne bluegrass band The Scrimshaw Four.

Alex Frank and Alexia Brinseley had the audience in stitches for “Edge of Glory”, “Hair” and “You & I” (arguably the performances of the night), while Belinda Jenkin remixed “Dance in the Dark” and “Just Dance” into ballads, and James Worsnop and Nicola Guzzardi parodied “Telephone”. The Collaborative topped off the night with a mashup of two original songs from Gaga & Assange, staged by their very own Gaga, Laura Raiti.

After the success of this fundraising event, I’m looking forward to seeing whether the musical deals with our readiness to let certain things about its titular “characters” (because isn’t that what they are—especially Gaga—to an extent?) fly, like Gaga’s alleged cosmetic surgery and Assange’s abovementioned sexual assault, in order to embrace their wider messages of acceptance and freedom of information, respectively. All with a side of Europop club anthems to boot.

A Very Gaga Variety Fundraising Night was performed at The Butterfly Club on Wednesday July 17, 2013