Adelaide Fringe 2015
Bacchanalia is back! Hope and Gloria of Titty Bar Ha Ha were our hosts. They charmed the crowd with their seductive British accents and by spitting out songs and dialogue saucier than Julian Clary could imagine. Bacchanalia will have a different line up each night, so it’s an enchanting lucky-dip where you might get what we experienced tonight: lashings of comedy, dance, song, and acrobatics — or something entirely different. Surprise!
A trio of shimmering burlesque goddesses floated gracefully into the room to the strains of Tina Turner. The three Party Spirits, Liz Cahalan, Lyra La Belle, and Adelaide’s Lolly Dolly, had the crowd crying tears of delight for the dancers’ perfect lines, seductive gazes, and overt playfulness — the three of them owned the room from the first moment to the last.
Enter Hope & Gloria.
Well, blow me! The audience (all of us) were given our chance to shine: without giving too much away, but our task required us to engage in both sucking and blowing. My team didn’t win, but I’m not bitter, like the tequila fired from water pistols into the mouths of lucky punters. This was controlled mayhem at its best.
Hope and Gloria exchanged in some face-achingly hilarious, almost conversational singing about some extremely adult content. Beautiful voices, powerful presence, and blunt innuendo.
Next to the stage was the cheeky Imaan Hadchiti, The Fringe’s favourite purveyor of profanity. Issues ranging from stereotyping, to religion, to homophobia were tackled with panache and power. Imaan had the audience in the palm of his hand, deftly switching from serious to hysterical in an instant. This is performer at the top of his game.
Our next gift was a touch of Bollywood-inspired audience participation orchestrated wonderfully by the trio of swaying Party Spirits. If you get a chance to participate, put your damn hand up!
The acrobatic duo Elixir followed with astounding feats of strength and balance, and maybe just a little bit of objectification on behalf of the audience. The height of the venue seemed to limit what they were capable of, though. On a couple of occasions feet almost hit the ceiling. This seemed to go unnoticed by the entranced audience. This was a house filled with love.
After a stunning solo performance from Lyra La Belle, we were treated to a heart-wrenching duet by Hope and Gloria, which devolved into a brutal kazoo battle that had the audience screaming with enjoyment.
Globetrotting Adelaide comedian Mickey D delivered some polished material touching on paranoia and panic, political correctness, and the differences between the sexes.
The finale was a beautiful, swaggering spectacle delivered, once again, by the fabulous Party Spirits, who, along with our darling hosts, Hope and Gloria, are the only constants in an ever-changing line up of world-class performers.
This show was a joy-filled ride from start to finish. All performers went above and beyond to create the perfect mix of entertainment, but it seemed the highlights for the audience (and myself) occurred whenever Hope and Gloria or their Party Spirits took to the stage.
Welcome back, Bacchanalia!