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Review: Little Death Club

Adelaide Fringe

Many shows promise high-end comedy and eyebrow-raising debauchery. Little Death Club delivers on both counts. ★★★★

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Presented at the Royal Croquet Club in the new location at Pinky Flat, this quirky variety show delivers a value-for-money adult Fringe experience. And ignore the warnings of “mild” sexual references and nudity. There is more than enough for everyone.

Hosted by EastEnd Cabaret and Yeti’s Demon Dive’s diva Bernadette Byrne as gin-swilling Miss Bernie, Little Death Club offers a hand-picked line-up of acts from the Fringe which changes each night. This is a departure for Byrne, whose previous offerings have been concept shows with freaky sidekick Victor Victoria.

Miss Bernie is still the star with her sexually-charged audience participation, man-riding antics, and hilarious original songs including one about Wookie sex (are the lyrics available?). Her unique style and brilliant expressions alone are worth the walk across the footbridge.

The guest list started with the utterly suave and debonair Asher Treleaven, whose recitation of a Mills and Boon love-making scene had the audience wanting to rush to the nearest secondhand book shop immediately.

Visual comedy artist and clown Dimitri Hatton, who directs Jess Love’s upcoming Fringe show Notorious Strumpet and Dangerous Girl, provided some awkward man-in-your-face slapstick and rare male nudity … perhaps adding support to the case for keeping it rare.

The dark and dangerous side of the show was provided by dance, theatre and burlesque performer Gypsy Wood. What started as an innocent, clueless performance by Miss Carolina 2007 turned into every pageant queen’s nightmare.

The act billed as the highlight act of the night, hula-hooping “notorious strumpet” Jess Love, was nothing short of sensational. Dazzling hula-hoop artistry was mixed with serious attitude and some necessary costume adjustments. Not to be missed.

Miss Bernie finished the show with a reminder that the universal themes of art, flesh and gin may yet be the saviour of the world as we enter a dangerous 2017 after a sad 2016. Little Death Club offers a new experience each night. Highly recommended.

Four Stars

Little Death Club is at The Black Forest, Royal Croquet Club, nightly until March 19.

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