Half stand-up comedy gig, half naughty strip burlesque, it sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, as host, Asher Treleaver, reassured us in his opening speech, the two sit hand in hand together and we’ll all have a good time.
Treleaver is an Australian stand-up who appears to have based his style entirely on Inspector Gadget; when he is not on stage being funny (if slightly intimidating), he sits in a booth at the side of this cabaret/circus tent drinking beers, possibly even waiting for his informant to show up. It’s a bit creepy, but it adds to the atmosphere. In fact the only thing creepier would be to sat in the main crowd taking notes for a review whilst all around you people whoop and ladies take their clothes off - oh dear.
After the beautiful Gypsy Wood finishes teasing us with her feathers, the quick witted kiwi Jamie Bowen comes on to tell us all that there is hope for balding men, so long as we can still grow a moustache. By the end of the set he has us in the palm of his hand, a truly engaging comedian who has mastered the intimate feel of this unusual crowd.
Then we saw Missy Malone, a Scottish local and Cruella De Vil impersonator (if Disney had been allowed to make 101 Dalmatians really sexy) take off just enough to leave us wanting more before the headline dancer Lou Lou D’Vil proved that tattoos are sexy.
Let’s face it, most of the men in that show had no interest in seeing a stand-up. The guy behind me certainly didn’t and made that very clear, but when Hannah Gadsby got onto the stage and announced ‘I am a lesbian and I don’t normally do this drunk’, she managed to distract the testosterone ridden crowd’s attention, finishing with a speech about bungee jumping that had us crying with laughter. As a stand up she has something precious and hilarious.
The true star of the show though, is the often underrated maid, who darts around picking up clothes and had me gripped in her performance that never stops; she plucks up G strings and even sits patiently, in character, waiting to go on, hilarious and engaging and not wearing too much herself.
As Burlesque shows go, this one has everything. It’s a well built pick of the best acts around and a laugh-a-minute, wolf whistle the next, ruckus of a night out.