Thursday 24 September 2015

Seen & Heard review - Melbourne Fringe

Earlier this year, Becky Lou dazzled audiences with her debut solo show Shake, in which she recalled moments of her life that in some way, shape or form led her to a career in burlesque. It was a unique opportunity to hear her speak, as well as entertain us with a number of memorable burlesque acts. Presented as part of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival, Lou’s Seen & Heard, brings together a number of her favourite performers on stage to share with the audience some highly personal moments of their lives.

There is a rotation of six guest artists from a variety of performance backgrounds for Seen & Heard’s run and tonight’s line-up consists of drag queen Karen from Finance, stripper Perri Hunter, burlesque performer Honey B. Goode and vaudevillian Clara Cupcakes. Tonight’s guests put on quite a show including Karen from Finance’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You”, which had me in stitches and Hunter’s humourous depiction of what a stripper is actually thinking about when giving a lap dance.

However, it is when they begin sharing their intimate anecdotes that Seen & Heard really comes to life. While not all talks are polished and there’s a feeling of nervousness with some, the guests are sharing some highly personal moments with a roomful of strangers for the first time, so this raw uncertainty is something that can be overlooked. Lou and her guests have always been seen and not heard, and to be more specific, never been heard as themselves but usually as their character or persona. As Clara states, she’s rarely spoken in her real voice when dressed up in her make-up and costumes.

With a performer on the stage, there is always an admiration of such an artist but embedded in the idea of us and them, the audience and the star. Becky Lou’s Seen & Heard remind us that they are people just like us; in fact, they too wet themselves, they too flatulate and they too can have the most incredibly random sexual mishaps. It’s a way of connecting the performers candidly with the audiences and it’s an entertaining and unique experience for both.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Season: Until 27 September | 10pm
Tickets: $32 Full | $28 Conc
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

* Original review appeared on Theatre Press on 24 September

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