To begin with there's a rouge-cheeked, goatee-sporting, leather-clad, kilt-wearing kind of punk-burlesque weirdo with a mohawk coif, and he's just the DJ (DJ Red Bird Jn.). Then there's a couple of other strapping fellows wearing bowler hats and waistcoats, loitering about as the capacity Concert Chamber crowd gets their refreshments and sit at their tables – some of which are on the stage by the formidably cog-wheeled entranceway upstage.
Before long a svelte vamp in a red dress and black heels, with a cigarette and a marguerite, stands statue-still before an old-school microphone and a sign that reads ‘$1 for a ditty' on the titular revolve stage at the end of the catwalk. When the dollar is paid, the DJ turns the large red crank that sets her off crooning – like the world's most sophisticated music box – all manner of cabaret classics from Holiday, Porter, Berlin, Waller and maybe a Gershwin or two.
All this before the show even starts, which it eventually does with the arrival of the Mistress of Ceremonies, one Magenta Diamond, whose initial party trick is pulling things out from her sleek long black dress. Her secondary one is hammering a four-inch nail into her nostril to her theme song, Airbourne's 'Diamond in the Rough'. As the evening progresses Ms Diamond will demonstrate, in her consummate airhead/dominatrix manner, she is no-one's two-trick pony.
The first act proper is scruffy ragdoll mascot girl Maria Blacklips, flinging her limbs about with dynamic flair, again engaging the frequently utilised revolving stage. She is follow by one of the waistcoat fellows, the bearded one, ‘Beau Champagne', who takes us through a round of deft and nimble, if wholly perfunctory, trapeze manoeuvres to a pumping dubstep soundtrack. Next the other chap, ‘Zach Washer' with the frilly waistcoat, juggles a number of skittles, dropping a good many but managing enough to succeed in coming over as a very promising juggling student on work experience.
I note that by this time not a great deal of comedy per se has occurred. Almost as if in response, Ms Diamond appears again, now with a pair of tights and a staple gun up her dress. Her shock-factor antics are very well matched by her sassy banter, both effusively sexual and aggressively stern. She's followed by a red-haired Tissu artiste in sturdy lingerie with black gothic floral tights, who's name I didn't catch, causing a few gasps with her bold aerial tumbling.
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