VELVET – Fringe World
The West Australian Spiegeltent
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Glitter may have been a better name for this act as there is so much of it during the 120 minute show it’s rather mind blowing.
Having said that Velvet is a showcase of all the “best” of the 70’s and the disco era. With no dialogue Velvet tells its story solely through song, dance, cabaret and circus, mesmerising audiences every step of the way.
Marcia Hines, the major draw card for the show, is the perfect fit. She proves talent is timeless with her vocals still as good as they were in her prime. Unfortunately she wasn’t dancing the way she once did but the backup dancers made up for her lack of movement radiating energy as they commanded the stage. Despite this she still commands the stage with a presence so strong you can’t take your eyes off her, although the bright gold dress did help with that.
Her first song Never Knew Love Like This Before automatically had the audience singing along and dancing all in awe of the true superstar that is Marcia Hines.
Her second song was the legendary Its Raining Men, the perfect choice for Hines, and she did an exceptional job of bringing the classic hit back to life. The backup dancers were dressed in raincoats demonstrating the true irony of the song. Of course the hit wouldn’t be complete without a shirtless man hanging from the ceiling performing impressive circus tricks. This was the highlight of the show combining all elements perfectly.
Another highlight was the hoola hoopist who oozed 70s in his Jane Fonda-esque ensemble of knee high socks, sweat bands and a rather confronting pink and yellow leotard. He took hoola hooping to new heights, at one stage managing to perform with 10 hoops at once with such ease you have to see it to believe it. His stage presence was amazing, somehow managing to still smile while performing incredibly complicated tricks.
At many stages throughout the performance it was like being in a nightclub with loud, overwhelming music, strobe lighting and wild dancing.
The whole act screamed disco with the eye popping outfits consisting almost solely of sequins and glitter and the flashing lights providing a true throwback to Studio 54. And of course what is a disco act without giant fans? In a true homage to the 70s, the two dancers thrust their hair towards the fans creating the windswept effect we all know so well.
The only flaw was the fuzziness of the narrative. At times it felt as though there was a theme throughout the show and then an act would completely throw the whole show off balance. Having said that in some ways this actually worked in Velvet’s favour. The lack of one straight theme helped to keep audiences constantly engaged, wondering what would come next.
If you’ve been missing some disco in your life then Velvet is without a doubt the show for you.
Velvet is playing the Spiegeltent at The Pleasure Garden everyday except Monday’s until February 19. Shows are at 7pm with additional 4:30 shows on Saturdays and Sundays.