Review By Lauren Donikian
Camp, sass and a whole lot of a** is what you can expect to see at Smashed: The Brunch Party. After a successful run at Adelaide Fringe, it was only a matter of time before this sparkling sensation splashed into Sydney Harbour.
As you enter the hazy, purple hued lit theatre you are welcomed into the space by members of the cast and the latest pop songs blaring over the speakers. There are soft fairy lights hanging over the bleacher style seating at the back of the theatre that extend to the front half of the theatre where there are white round tables and chairs for those audience members that have chosen the Brunch option. The stage is simple with a red curtain and 2 chandeliers that hang on both sides of the neon lit ‘Smashed: The Brunch Party’. This feeds into the idea that the focus should be entirely on the artists as they take their moment in the spotlight in this 1-hour spectacular.
Victoria Falconer: Award winning cabaret star hosts the show in baby pink pants, a bright pink feathered robe and a headdress which reflects the Queen that she is! She is quick witted, a powerhouse vocalist and reminds everyone that this is a safe space where everybody is free to feel good. Her rapport with the audience is earned very early on and continues throughout the show.
Bettie Bombshell who has been named the 11th most influential burlesque artist worldwide opens the show with a Shania Twain number that’s a whip cracking good time. Next up is Dale Woodridge-Brown who is a circus performer and self-proclaimed ‘Professional Idiot’. Whilst flirting with the audience we see an artist that rolls with the punches and requires applause for each prop that is used throughout their set. Demon Derriere, as the name suggests is a booty shaker and Neo-burlesque artist who looks sweet as candy, but has a naughty side and a penchant for whipped cream. As the stage is cleaned it is time for a twerk-off against two audience members. It is a good laugh and the audience participation kicks the energy up a notch, just in time for Kween Kong to take the stage. After appearing on season 2 of RuPaul’s’ Drag Race Down Under Kween Kong proves once again why they were a serious contender for the crown. Their death-dropping, twist tumbling performance creates a buzz and inspires the audience to heed the lyrics in the song. Last, but not least is Malia Walsh a circus performer that handles a champagne bottle better than anyone has ever seen.
Overall ‘Smashed: The Brunch Party’ is a fun time, with artists that may not always get the stage time they deserve leaving their mark and positive energy on a crowd that is accepting and ready to party. As Falconer states, shows like this are only possible when audiences support the smaller entertainment venues and niche artists that are perfecting their craft in a safe environment. I’m grateful that Australia provides places for these artists and I look forward to exploring more new talent over the course of the Sydney Festival. Hope you do too!
Image Credit: Jacquie Manning