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Velvet: why it’s a must-see Fringe show

Feb 20, 2015
Brendan Maclean struts his stuff in Velvet. Photo: Sam Oster

Brendan Maclean struts his stuff in Velvet. Photo: Sam Oster

Funky, fresh, fun and sexy, Velvet is the show to see at this year’s Adelaide Fringe.

Sure, it’s competing with other fabulous productions such as La Soiree and Soap, but this show by Smoke and Mirrors director Craig Ilott is the new kid on the block. Velvet is set in a nightclub, where legendary diva Marcia Hines is surrounded by brilliant performers who can do all kinds of things, from sing to strip.

Marcia Hines and Brendan Maclean. Photo: Sam Oster

Marcia Hines and Brendan Maclean. Photo: Sam Oster

Craig Reid, aka “The Incredible Hula Boy”, does the best hula hoop performance I have ever seen (and believe me, as a reviewer, I have seen a few); it’s worth coming just for him.

Velvet is cabaret and circus rolled into one as disco favourites, such as “Le Chic”, “Boogie Wonderland” and “It’s Raining Men” bring the house down. The sound production by Joe Accaria is world-class and the female vocalists – Rechelle Mansour and Chaska Halliday – exude confidence and sass.

All the acrobats are fantastic. Mirko Köckenberger starts off with a magnificent striptease and then proceeds to balance on suitcases. Emma Goh works beautifully with a trapeze ring and Stephen Williams is delectable swinging from ropes.

The performance is held together by brilliant singer-songwriter Brendan Maclean, who sings and struts his stuff like there is no tomorrow. Slowing down the disco for a solo acoustic performance of “Staying Alive” on ukulele is a stroke of genius.

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Velvet acrobat Mirko Köckenberger. Photo: Sam Oster

Hines is at the top of her game with voice, and has charm to fill the room. Personally, I could have done without Perle Noir’s striptease. but most people seemed to love it, and as the scene shifted into a spot of bondage later, it somehow made more sense.

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Velvet is the Fringe show that people will be talking about in 2015. Don’t miss it!

Velvet is at Vagabond in the Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 15.

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