LA SOIRÉE @ The Ice Cream Factory gets 8/10

@ The Ice Cream Factory
Wednesday, January 23, 2019


After Club Swizzle was dropped recently due to “unforeseen circumstances” just a fortnight prior to FRINGE WORLD opening, the LA SOIRÉE of 2019 feels as hastily thrown together as it was. While it remains a damn fine time, with some outstanding performances, it is not to the production standard we expect from Brett Haylock et al., and Perth audiences deserve better. Luckily, some supreme performers hold the production together magnificently in what was undoubtedly trying circumstances as they were rushed to us from the far reaches of the globe at the last minute.

Touted as puppets for adults, Cabaret Décadanse from Montreal open with If You Could Read My Mind, performed by a gyrating disco diva, and watching the duo puppeteers perform is pure delight as they all gyrate together in one giant, rhythmic and sexy slinky.

Lucky Hell is an undisputed star of LA SOIRÉE, whose hard-earned but totally deserved reputation as sword swallowing’s drop dead gorgeous, badass, sassy diva is proven to be a show stopper time and again. This woman is here to slay, but don’t you dare get sword swallowing mussed up in sexual connotations. Lucky Hell is not to be trifled with and is here to demonstrate what women should aspire to be – may we all be that confident, yet vulnerable and irrepressible. She is utterly captivating.

Indian pole dancers Mallakhamb India are an utter delight to watch as the duo work in unison in an impressive and unique display of strength, balance and agility, drawing the audience into their gleeful performance. By way of explanation for the uninitiated, Indian pole is a smooth, fixed wooden pole which is climbed up, on, over and around, balancing in some incredibly precarious positions which wow even the most seasoned of audience goers.

Ukrainian circus duo Irina Bessanova and Vladimir Todorashko offer up some unique takes on acrobatics, hand-to-hand performance and trapeze, partly through their physical disparity. It’s intoxicating to watch the Amazonian Bessanova supporting the slighter, smaller Todorashko in a combination which serves to quietly challenge gender roles. You might think you throw mad shapes on the dancefloor at the club, but you’ve got nothing on Irina Bessanova.

Will Meager is anything but meagre when he brings his wheel onto the tiny stage, with tricks any aficionado has seen before until he lifts the wheel above his head and skips through it, deft as a schoolgirl skipping rope, but nonetheless impressive for a moment. His schoolboy costuming is distracting but not enough to satisfy when there is no explanation for it out of context.

Carla Lippis’ “scary is the new sexy” soulful songstress duet feels misplaced through no fault of their own, but the sheer attitude and grace of the duo brings it home.

Overall, it’s a nice time for the unseasoned, with delectable, lush moments throughout, and while still worth the price of admission, we expect a better planned production next year.


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