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BEATING THE ODDS Teasing out the art of tease

BeatingTheOdds

BEATING THE ODDS: THE HAYLEY STEWART STORY
Voodoo Lounge (for Fringe Festival)
Friday, February 3, 2017

7/10

Old school cabaret and raunch maketh the woman. The Voodoo Lounge is the perfect vehicle for titillation this Fringe, or any time, for that matter. Amidst one of Australia’s favourite, lauded late night venues is the ultimate safe space for women, where we are revered and celebrated, and if you haven’t been to a strip club (which everyone really, really should at least once), here is where to pop your cherry. So many audience members had never sampled the delights of scantily clad, talented dancers in such a setting, and the resounding response was nothing short of pure joy. Most surprising was the amount of elderly folk in the crowd – and they were among the most vocal, which really did add to the experience. There’s nothing quite like an octogenarian woman on her feet, screaming for more from pole artistes.

The choreography is on point. Every step of the way, the ladies of Voodoo really deliver, in stylistic grace and incredible form. The time honoured tradition of costumed women entertaining in one of the oldest art forms of tease and the celebration of womanhood, outdoes some of the traditionally styled burlesque beauties gracing Fringe this year, and that is a very big call. Star performers Kirsten and Rikki are an indomitable duo, perfectly complimenting one another as they perform in unison, fluidly luring the audience into this naughty world.

Texas was a standout. Pure sexuality, beckoning the audience into the palm of her hands – and perfect, rounded buttocks – helps set the tone for the show, and polarises every moment she graces the stage.

Charisma, beauty and elegance abounds as we are introduced to the Hayley Stewart story through narration and mixed media. The choice of lip syncing the narration was a little confusing, but makes sense upon explanation by the star herself, Stewart: “speaking for an hour long show every night would be inconsistent vocally, and I’d lose my voice.” Fair play, game on.

There are times where the visual media screened on televisions are a little bewildering, or mismatched, and on occasion there are perplexing choices in story lines, but overall, this is a pretty wonderful piece of very satisfying visual ingenuity by an extremely talented cast, and it’s definitely one to add to the list. Get thee some Voodoo this Fringe and be entranced.

Beating the Odds is playing at The Voodoo Lounge, upstairs at 174 James Street, Northbridge every night from Wednesday to Saturday at 7pm until Saturday February 18.

NATALIE GILES

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