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Review : Bingo with Timberlina, Hares and Hyenas at Hare Hole

By Kerrie Batrouney

Timberlina hails from country NSW but has hit Melbourne for her very first appearance at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. The Queen of Newcastle was here for one night only but she will be back soon for sure! Timberlina is fabulous from every angle, owning her fabulous hair, her fabulous makeup and her fabulous costumes. We knew we were in for a fun evening full of giggles and games.

The venue was in Fitzroy at the Hares and Hyenas. It is Melbourne's queer and alternative bookshop, café and performance venue. Hares & Hyenas specialises in books, DVDs and other materials for the queer community and people of all gender and sexual preferences. The performance venue, Hare Hole, is very busy hosting book clubs and other regular events as well as the Fringe. The staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming, it felt such a warm space. I plan to try out the café one day soon.

The show began with Timberina mingling with the audience. She was approachable and chatty, taking photos with almost everyone. She is an amazing host, suggesting we all have a drink because “the drunker you are, the funnier I am and if you’re not drinking, just laugh at everything”! Then the serious rules of the bingo, just one “if you call bingo and you don’t have all the numbers you have to wear the dickhead hat.” The description is literal if you know what I mean.

Then the Bingo! The bingo calls were very naughty, there were some well known calls, bingo aficionados will be familiar with 53 stuck in a tree, 31 get up and run, 22 two little ducks quack quack, but there were many others which I really can’t mention. Timberlina kept the audience giggling along with her sometimes outrageous comments and playful banter. It was amazing to see the focus and concentration as everyone put their heads down for the bingo. Super competitiveness followed until “bingo” was called. The games were fast paced, speeding up as we practiced, a boring bingo game it wasn’t!

We also played Tits and Arse… am I allowed to say that? If not then games such as **** and **** - an easy game which got everyone involved, with some trepidation… although there was no need for concern. There was frequent low-pressure audience participation and several prizes were won. She seemed very good at reading the audience to understand who would be happy to participate and who would be embarrassed. The bingo games were intermingled with drag acts, Timberlina belted out such powerful anthems as; Don’t rain on my parade, Ain’t no mountain high enough, Proud Mary.

There were a couple of costume changes, her first a leopard skin embellished black lace number and later a fiery sparkling red dress. The costumes were well designed for the physical dancing, kicks and splits, all par for the course for such a famous drag queen star!

Timberlina is a dazzling, accomplished performer with a quick wit and naughty repertoire. I also found her so naturally friendly and open. It was a very enjoyable evening out, jam packed with laughs.

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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