PETER AND BAMBI HEAVEN @ State Theatre Centre gets 7/10

Peter and Bambi Heaven: The Magic Inside @ State Theatre Centre
Thursday, May 11, 2017

7/10

Sparkle motion, Glitter chaos, pure heaven…

Peter and Bambi Heaven are a wild bucking ride of dance magic, sexy mayhem and ninja wizardry, presented in a glittery bow of seat-wetting hilarity. It’s a heady mix, and not for the shy or the faint of heart, but this duo are everything right about being wrong. They are consummate Ozzy magic pros, mate, and will leave you wondering what the hell you just witnessed.

Peter (Asher Treleaven) and Bambi (Gypsy Wood) Heaven met when Bambi was a club stripper, and she is now finally living her lifelong dream as a magician’s assistant. Their coupling is proof that “love is the greatest magic of all”, and their dynamic is positively bewitching as the two play off one another in a series of uproarious dance numbers and some truly bad magic tricks. The Heavens encapsulate the best of Strayan humour, in the ultimate act of loving self-deprecation. The illusion of delusion is so very real, and the Heavens wholeheartedly embrace tackiness with affection, enthusiasm and aplomb.

Ex-stripper Bambi’s constant compulsion to remove her clothes is the best result of conditioning, and Peter’s attempts to keep her clothes on are stellar highlights. Besides, who doesn’t like boobs and butts as a side dish to their comedy? Delicious. For fans of cock rock, there are plenty of crowd pleasing moments and opportunities to get involved. Another highlight is what can only be described as a Carrie-esque period piece of epic proportions.

The venue was dubious. The huge, unwelcoming side room in the State Theatre Centre almost swallows the stage and is entirely the wrong venue for a show like this – bright lights, plastic chairs and no atmosphere mean that the performers have to work particularly hard to lift the audience and draw them in. Audience engagement was hard won, but so worth the effort. Even the most seasoned professional with a perfect show would struggle in these environs. It’s a challenge, but the Heavens are down for it. This is not a pristine show – it’s one full of chaos and ultimately results in the stage being liberally covered in blood and vegetables by closing. It’s the best kind of hectic party.

There are moments that could do with a touch of editing – the opening act affirmations, for instance. Pausing and looking to the audience for acknowledgement and laughs is a faltering, uncomfortable start to an otherwise effortlessly funny show. There’s a point to arrive at, but there are alternative routes to deliver a punch line. Take the audience on that journey, sure, but maybe go via an alternative route.

Peter and Bambi Heaven were a refreshing break from the de rigueur stand-up on offer at the Perth Comedy Festival, and while some would argue that they are more suited to Fringe Festival, it’s a worthy contender against international acts and well worth the adventure. Unfortunately their run is over for the fest, but if you get the opportunity to see it elsewhere, grab it with both hands and squeeze its butt, and be prepared for surprises and chuckles galore, because you’re going to laugh until you cry.

NATALIE GILES

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