Brighton Fringe 2008
Venue: Udderbelly May 5th-18th
Festival: Brighton Fringe
New York’s burlesque and cabaret extravaganza makes its Brighton debut.
In the course of the Brighton Fringe I seem to be becoming a bit of a burlesque aficionado and believe me this was definitely not a conscious move on my part. After an underwhelming experience at Le Scandal’s first night at the Udderbelly and a frankly boring night with Le Coeur Rouge at the Speigeltent, I wasn’t exactly champing at the bit for any more nipple tassel related fun. However, in the spirit of FringeReview, after a request from the company, I returned to the purple cow and having spent a second night with the stars of Le Scandal, I can wholeheartedly say I made the right decision.
All of the irritating technical faults had been ironed out of the show and it ran without a hitch. Even extreme juggler Marcus Monroe, whose personal safety had previously been a great source of worry for both the audience and house band, pulled of a near perfect performance also adding some pleasingly witty banter to his segment.
While the rudimentary comedic and musical abilities of Bonnie Dunn remain acquired tastes, the fired-up Friday night audience certainly responded, even if it was while at times embarrassedly peering through gaps in their fingers. No one could say this woman doesn’t have bottle. Mantracks featuring Melisa Marie remained the peak of the show, their mind-boggling artistry and athleticism surpassing that of last year’s Udderbelly stars the Caesar Twins. While Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey’s hysterical ode to ‘inter-species romance’ accompanied by a power ballad classic also continued to entertain on second viewing.
So this time our friends from across the pond truly delivered. An exotic selection of acts, providing a heady mix of laughs and spectacle. This show has all the wow-factor and star quality one would expect from a headline draw. Being a burlesque buff may not be such a bad thing after all…