Each year, Bernie Dieter delivers some of FRINGE WORLD’s finest line ups in her late night cabaret, Little Death Club. It’s a beloved part of each Fringe and routinely attracts sold-out crowds, standing firmly alongside the ilk of perennial festival favourites Briefs. Akin in many ways, they both attract sell-out crowds, have a following of avid fans and are a first choice for Fringe goers. Rightly so, as they’re both fabulous variety shows which offer scintillating pleasures.
Bernie Dieter is a nonpareil star who provides a steamy atmosphere which is supremely delicious as the audience is lured into her sexy, sassy world of wonders. From the get-go, the ambience is reminiscent of a hidden back-alley speakeasy we are fortunate enough to have the password to enter.
In case you ignored the multiple warnings at the door, the mood is set immediately as Dieter leaves no doubt in the audience’s minds about what to expect of this show with her entrance. A select and lucky few are invited to touch her bejewelled, velvet jumpsuit, and each other, before those fortunate few are invited to carry this absolute queen onstage. On this particular night, it was not exactly dignified, but even as she was manhandled onstage with legs akimbo, this consummate professional didn’t miss a beat.
Backed by a live band composed of touring musicians and local identities, Dieter truly shines with standout classic original songs such as the super subtle and hilarious Lick My Pussy. It’s a beloved number worthy of the purchase of a souvenir bag which yells the title at the merch table afterwards. What an investment!
Dieter prides herself on assembling a fabulous, international collection of artists and this year is no exception. Australian burlesque royalty Jacqueline Furey opens with a fresh take on a circus favourite, angle grinding on a crotch plate by treating it as a chastity belt on a pure young lass. It’s by far one of the greatest renditions of an oft-seen act onstage in Perth or beyond. Furey by name, fierce by nature, her fire-eating act later in the show demonstrates why she is one of Australia’s greatest.
Fancy Chance offers up a completely mesmerising hair suspension act which is such a thing of beauty and wonder as she sublimely utilises a dress of Isis wings while hanging from the roof by nothing more than her own hair. Just as you think you cannot be any more awestruck, she drops the wings and… well, no spoilers here, but the appreciative gasps echoing throughout the Spiegeltent speak volumes. She is an utter goddess as she flies through the space to rightful adoration. Fancy Chance is art incarnate.
Australian drag queen royalty Art Simone is a stunningly sparkly addition to the stage in a look that is to die for, showcasing just the right mix of sass and silliness, with some super cute intentional gaffs that prove her to be a crowd-pleaser.
Acrobat Michael Standen is adorably mischievous as he flirts with the audience, but perhaps on this night he was a tad off his game as he shook and wobbled tremulously at times during his hand-balancing routine. However, between assisting with other acts and playing counterweight to Fancy Chance during her aerial performance, perhaps there was a degree of Fringe-saustion on this occasion. He was impressive nonetheless, as he worked the crowd into a state of confused endearment in his panties.
Little Death Club is a fantastic night out with some of the best lighting in a favoured Fringe venue, The West Australian Spiegeltent. It is a melting pot of all that we love about FRINGE WORLD, a warming dish which is a little bit wicked, but a delectable taste sensation with something for every palate.