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Review: Wonderfully Terrible Things at 5 Eliza

Reviewed by Lauren Donikian


Fire tricks, light up hula hoops and burlesque oh my! Wonderfully Terrible Things is a 100-minute length performance that allows its cast to be their freaky, talented, and sexy selves. There is no such thing as too brash or too scandalous. But there is a safe word... just in case.

5 Eliza is already an incredible theatre. The once School of Arts has been transformed into a hub for entertainment with a museum-like space downstairs and this grand space upstairs with marble flooring, cushioned seats in a round and arched windows all around that can be used as doors. When you walk into the theatre there is a haze and people are mingling. Members of the cast are handing out drinks from a trolley that are in small potion bottles. There is laughter and anticipation in the air.


The show starts and we are introduced to the cast, including Christine Ibrahim who is the MC for the evening. She is a classically trained singer and opens with a haunting song which sets the mood for what we are about to see. She sings multiple times throughout and shares the inspiration behind each song which she has written herself. In a black corset, soft gold coloured tulle half skirt and wine in hand she tantalizes the audience with her quick tongue, charming wit, and incredible vocals. Clara Fable in a black suit and red shirt follows with some burlesque and fire tricks. She is confident and regal in her stance, she glides through the space and holds a captive audience. Nellie Collins in black pants and black harness continues with some fire tricks of his own as well as knife and sword tricks. He is incredibly precise in his movements and has complete control over his body. Holding himself over and on a bed of nails so easily makes it look like he can’t feel any pain. Bella Kay in black fish nets and leather G-string brightens up the room with their hula hoops that change colours throughout their performance. Not only is this an incredible talent to have, but a clever idea as it pays off. Part of the excitement with this act is the shapes and colours that are formed when the hula hoops are in full swing. Memphis Mae closes out the show with a camp burlesque routine that involves dildos. It was a very fun way to end the show with raucous laughter and silly sexy fun.


I could go on about the talent of this cast (which changes with each show) but what I will end on is that when you create a safe space for artists like this, they give you their all and then some. Sexual exploration, fluidity and WAPs aren’t something that should remain in the dark. They need to be brought into the light. If you believe that then this show is for you. As a straight woman I can safely say that I left questioning my own sexuality. It was hot, hilarious, and exhilarating. That freedom of expression, knowing who you are and standing tall in your truth is one of the sexiest things you can do, and this cast proves that to be true.

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