Cabaret Festival Review: Glorious Misfits

A burlesque vaudeville show featuring circus acts, magic, striptease, song and dance from seven artists in a cabaret setting. Adults only.


Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 8 June 2018

Festival Artistic Director Ali McGregor hand-picked the artists for this burlesque vaudeville show that combines familiar acts with the new. It is 90 fast minutes of comedy, song, circus and burlesque, with the strongest focus on the former, but you would be forgiven if you momentarily think you’re watching La Clique in the Adelaide Fringe.

The seven artists are all top notch but some of the acts are getting tired, having remained unchanged for years. Watching those audience members who are seeing them for the first time however, is a solid reminder of the talent and ingenuity that has kept those acts so popular for so long. Contortionist extraordinaire, Captain Frodo, is one such entertainer who remains a highlight of any human circus he appears in. His bumbling antics as he staggers around forcing himself through a couple of tennis raquets is riotously funny but no different from the first time I saw him six years ago.

Likewise, Lily Paskas Goodfellow’s delectable striptease with a red hanky is an act that is still raising temperatures worldwide, but the music, dance and magic remain pretty much identical to the first time I saw Susannah Martinez perform it in 2012. She is the sister of Ursula Martinez who has been performing it even longer.

Others in the cast include tattooed poster boy Captain Kidd (Mark Winmill) who flexes his muscles on the arial silks and with hula hoops; and boylesque hunk Louis Biggs who plays naughty as a school boy while demonstrating his talent with a rubik’s cube and yoyo.

The divine Miss Frisky could charm the birds with her singing voice, offering seductive renditions of popular songs. Australia’s first lady of striptease, Imogen Kelly, is a visual feast with her flamingos routine and performing the breathtaking Moonlight, her stepdown act from the 23rd Annual Miss Exotic World Competition.

Rounding out the cast is suave juggler Davey ‘Gravey’ Sampford who must surely be the coolest plate-spinner in town.

There are three performance areas with most of the action taking place on the stage. The other two spots within the audience can be awkward and uncomfortable to twist around and watch, depending on where you are sitting. There’s a lot that happens amongst the audience so be sure to keep enough leg room to allow you to twist around to watch what’s happening.

While Glorious Misfits doesn’t offer enough new material to warrant the ticket price, it is a wonderfully fun night and a highly enjoyable showcase of talent.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Rating out of 5:  4

Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 8-11 June 2018
Duration: 90 minutes
Tickets: $23.45 – $51.90
Bookings: Adelaide Cabaret Festival website or BASS

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