Sunday 28 January 2018

KIllJoy: Destroy The Fantasy - Cabaret Review

What: KillJoy - Destroy The Fantasy
When: 24 January - 3 February 2018
Where: Melba Spiegeltent
Created by: Mahla Bird, Amy Broomstick, and Cat Scobie
Directed by: Maude Davey
Performed by: Mahla Bird, Amy Broomstick, Rin McCardle, Zak Pidd, Cat Scobie, and Jade Stevens

Cat Scobie, Mahla Bird and Amy Broomstick - photo by Kira Puru
Ladies, this is our time. We are no longer sitting in the kitchen ironing whilst the big strong men are out earning our keep. We are taking up our space in the community - the whole community. So why the heck are shows like KillJoy - Destroy the Fantasy still considered Fringe?

In the iconic tradition of artists such as Finucane & Smith, KillJoy is a trio of smart, sexy, talented people who deny a binary existence and are loud and proud about it.  They have a vision for tomorrow and it is a vision of freedom for all humanity. The catch? You have to tear up the old notions, systems and establishments to bring in the new.

I find it intriguing how feminism is leading the charge into a non-binary world and yet on some meta level it makes so much sense. The feminine as accepting, nurturing, and fertile has been the understanding of all ancient polytheistic religions.

Enough philosophy. Let's get down to the fun stuff. KillJoy - Destroy the Fantasy is a roller coaster ride of magnificence, beauty, pain, despair and triumph all in jam packed hour and half.

Cat Scobie starts the show with a killer entrance as the little boy in Where The Wild Things Are. Singing to the musical accompaniment of the grittiest femme punk grunge band around (Zak Pidd, Rin McCardle and Jade Stevens), she takes us straight into the belly of the beast. Cobie's background includes a formal education in design so you know everything in this show is presented to delight all your senses, but most especially your eyes and ears.

The rest of the cast join her for that iconic deconstruction of party girls after a night on the town. Drunk and lying in the gutter with their knickers everywhere but where they ought to be, they take us on little vignettes into the night before where they were having a good time, disturbing nobody, only to be brought down by misogynist dickheads who yell shit like 'Take the compliment you stuck up bitch' and other endearing phrases.

The show is full of amazing circus arts and fun and furious burlesque and exposition. Mahla Bird is an aerialist and her trapeze and silks routines are elegant and eloquent as she gets tangled and tumbles only to recover and start again and again. A metaphor we all understand. To put a full-stop behind the non-binary aspect of life not only is Bird a athlete and artist, she is also sexy and smart. A researcher in the field of neuro-science, Bird brings her finding to stage examining the gender biases from the moment of birth in her act 'Is This All There Is?'

Scobie and Bird also deny and defy the idea of strength as masculine in their insanely difficult acrobatic duet. There is no strongman in this routine. They are both equals and the struggle is that of supporting each other, not one or the other.

Amy Broomstick is a talented burlesque artist who brings a witty and disturbing image of femininity to the stage as she learns how to be a woman. As well, she and Scobie bring their formidable vocal talents to the evening's entertainment. The band is phenomenal so when I say the singers are up to the challenge this is not a light compliment. There used to be a belief that only men could bring that driving, hardcore sound to music but move aside patriarchs - femme is here and  it is going to be heard!

For those who like a light snack with their evening's entertainment, there is candy for all with the help of the audience and a piƱata. But is the candy for everyone? Find out. Come to KillJoy - Destroy The Fantasy at Melba Spiegeltent. You will leave feeling energised, loved, and a part of the future rather than an outdated past.

4.5 Stars

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