Review by Stephanie Lee
Sex, Lies & Betrayal - Memoirs of a Hollywood Star at The Butterfly Club for Melbourne Fringe is an intimate glimpse into what it took to gain fame and glory in Hollywood’s golden era. Written and Directed by Margaret Fisk AM, the glamorous show is a monologue broken up by songs from greats like Amy Winehouse and Frank Sinatra.
The show follows a Miss Nightingale, who under pseudonym reveals all her kept secrets about what happens behind closed doors in Hollywood. Plenty of sex, secrets only few are privy to and constant betrayals lie at the heart of Miss Nightingale’s experiences and provide plenty of entertainment for the audience.
The space is utilised well, with a cozy living room setting inviting the audience in for a night of scandal and spilled secrets. The warm, dim lighting and almost constant background sound of songs ‘playing from a record player’ maintain a moody ambience that suits the piece. The costuming is also very Hollywood with a hint of sparkle and glitz that compliments the overall visual aesthetic of the piece. From the moment it begins you know that there will be scandal in true Hollywood fashion.
At the helm of this one woman show is Karla Hillam who is soft, yet powerful in their delivery. Their vocals particularly shined in the more sultry songs, highlighting the allure and mystery of Miss Nightingale. Although at times it would have been nice to have more comedic moments, the glamorous persona was maintained by Hillam the entire hour long performance.
The musical arrangements by Ned Wright-Smith are lovely, striking just the right balance for the piece. Similarly, the lighting design by JB Lighting Designs Australia is very elegant with darker hues that create a late night moody feel.
Overall, Sex, Lies & Betrayal - Memoirs of a Hollywood Star is captures a woman relishing in the days of parties and scandalous film set affairs. The stories within are filled with juicy gossip and the stage design is just the right amount of moody