When: 24 - 27 January 2020
Where: The Toff In Town
Created and performed by: Adam, Archie Arsenic, Bettie Bombshell, Charlotte, Jill Crisp, Cassie Daly, Matt Hirst, Lola La Roux & Her Dolls, Alex Morris, Kellyn Patterson, Shamita, Ruby Slippers, Karen Taranto, and Six Inches Uncut
Musical direction by: Alex Morris
Stage Management by: Moose and Onyx
"Queerly beloved, we are gathered here today...", these are the words uttered by the high priestess of the evening, Six Inches Uncut, as she begins the religious ceremony worshipping imperfection and love in .Church. Melbourne's best of the best burlesque, boylesque, and queer performers are gathering across four nights at The Toff In Town to raise a new religion of hope and joy and love. Hell-ja-ja-loolah!
.Church is the sane person's alternative to Hillsong and our gold spangled pastor leads us in a prayer of love and tolerance and encourages us all to confess our most embarrassing sins so they we may receive acceptance and love at the alter of the stage. Communion is the road to freedom as the Heavenly Gogo Dancers pour champagne down our throat and offer crackers to keep us worshipping that little bit longer. Hell-ja-ja-loolah!
As with all religious services, every ceremony has readings from different members of the congregation. On the night I went Bettie Bombshell gave the first blessing decked out in a devilish red fishtail dress. A stunning vision of wicked sophistication she schooled us all in the worship of our bodies with her red hot, world class burlesque. Singing along with the hit song 'Shackles', Six Inches Uncut and the ever essential choir (Morris, Daly, Crisp, Taranto, Patterson, and Hirst) raise the roof as spirits lift in holy worship of the body as human. Hell-ja-ja-loolah!
Ruby Slippers gives us the next reading with her music box doll figure being forced to turn with every command by Bonnie Tyler. Eventually she breaks free and strips down to reveal a flirty and fleshy cowgirl anybody would want to ride. Good burlesque always has a hook and in the second part of the service Slippers gives one of the cleverest acts I have seen in a long time as her banana beach babe dances to an epic "nah nah" musical medley. Hell-ja-ja-loolah!
.Church is a smorgasbord of opportunities to worship at the feet of love and desire and Lola La Roux & Her Dolls take it that little bit further with a step aerobics routine which turns into an orgiastic feast of hilarious proportions. Archie Asenic then came out with a traditional lyrical ballet dance which left nothing to the imagination but certainly got hearts pumping and dreams flowing as his body moved, and writhed and contorted to the music. Every muscle in his body sung as did our desire! This is definitely a .Church for everyone. Hell-ja-ja-loolah!
For those who like a bit of intellect with their devotions, Charlotte blessed us with her spoken word poem 'Brave'. In this sermon she talks about the courage of living in the every day, not in the extraordinary. The courage of buying a pot plant and hoping it won't die. The courage in telling your partner you watched an episode on Netflix without them. The courage of being, of living, of getting up and out every day. Now that is brave. Hell-ja-ja-loolah!
Adam and Shamita both led us in prayer. Adam led us first in a meditative, Asian inspired boylesque devotional with seriously sexy intent. His eyes pierced into our souls as our worshipful gaze raked down his corseted flesh as the Komono slowly opened. Hell-ja-ja-loolah!
Shamita took a more western approach. A novitiate in a chapel of candles and cloisters, she struggles with the confines of habits. As she loosens the robes and allows her body to breath in a hilarious strip tease, freedom comes to her in a glory of bared flesh and dripping candle wax. Hell-ja-ja-loolah!
All of this indulgence in the transcendental euphoria of freedom and love is carefully guided by our glorious chaplain, Six Inches Uncut. To end, we all rise and pay homage through the prophetic lyrics of that great goddess of freedom, Madonna. Hell-ja-ja-loolah!
Across the course of this evangelical visitation, .Church, other acolytes of this enlightened cult will provide offerings and testimony. Disciples including Becky Lou, Raven, Dazza & Keif, Alex De Porteous, Miss Jane Doe, and Anna Lumb. They are all gathering to worship with us and for us. Don't miss your chance to worship at the alter of love and acceptance at .Church. Hell-ja-ja-loolah!