Thursday 26 January 2017

Glory Box: Lucky 13! - Cabaret Review

What: Glory Box: Lucky 13!
When: 24 - 29 January
Where: Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne
Performed by: Rhonda Burchmore, Moira Finucane, Kamahi Djordan King, Yeshe Maherete, Mark McLauchlan, Rocky Stone, and Azaria Universe

Holly Durant
Once again Finucane and Smith bring us the next iteration of Glory Box: Lucky 13! playing at the Fairfax Studio as part of the Midsumma Festival. Along with Finucane and Smith regulars, each night the show is overflowing with special guests of world renown so you can go every night of the season and have a completely unique and inspiring evening of entertainment. What a great idea!

Glory Box is a show designed to celebrate who and what we are as individuals and as human beings. It is about destroying stereotypes and celebrating the unique and unexpected. A female naked body is meant to be sultry and beckoning, but wait until you see Universe in 'Pearls'. A woman is supposed to be hair free in these modern times but you will laugh your way through Durant's Cousin It style dance. Durant was also mind blowing as the butterfly whose wings are torn away.

On opening night we had the stunning Rhonda Burchmore who made us laugh with her Broadway classic, but 'Wrecking Ball' was hugely surprising and powerful. We were also privileged to experience the mind-blowing acrobatics of pole artiste Mark McLaughlan.

I loved everyone in the show, but for me the night sang in the presence of Rocky Stone. I have seen her Molly Bashful act before in La Revolucion but you can never see this one too many times. My heart really leapt and sang during her aerial act though. Combining tissu moves with aerial hoop Stone used a wide guage rope which allowed her to create a noose for the hoop acrobatics and then twist, knot and drop her way through a tissu routine. Talk about increasing productivity!

Universe's aerial trapeze act right at the start also opened my heart and allowed me space to breath as she destroyed her silhouette with tight bindings coiled around her body creating lumps and bumps where our camera dominated age does not allow women to have them. These bindings cut into her flesh as she contorted and flew on the trapeze creating waves of empathetic pain for the audience. This act was powerful in it's simplicity of concept and condemnation combined with the beauty and strength of her acrobatics.

The beautiful Constantina Bush (who I first came across in Blak Cabaret) joined in the digs and ditties with a completely unique and unexpectedly sexy version of 'Fire'.  Her alter ego King also joined us in the second act and brought a solemnity and pride to the occassion as he sang Kucha Edwards 'Is That What We Deserve'. This was a poignant reminder of where we are and who we are as we prepare for our Australia Day activities.

Of course, the whole event was a satellite around the glowing sun of Moira Finucane who brought us all the favourites. Finucane approaches burlesque from it's traditional roots, combining comedy with politics and adding in a strong dose of the more modern strip tease. She does it all really. Let me just say you have never really seen someone eat a meet pie until you see Finucane eat one!

Glory Box: Lucky 13! is absolutely chock-a-block full of amazing, unexpected, and inspiring performances by the world's best performance artists. The show is a true celebration of our humanity and oneness unlike the celebrations on the 26th. Buy your tickets now because this season is short!

4.5 Stars

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