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Fringe review: Yummy Unleashed

Adelaide Fringe

The drag and burlesque extravaganza Yummy Unleashed is a wild, glittering celebration of femininity, sex and absurdity. ★★★★

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“You will never get rid of the glitter,” warns Valerie Hex – producer, director and fabulous drag queen emcee of Saturday evening’s sold-out premiere.

Even if the performers in this delightful showcase didn’t literally pour glitter over the audience, they may as well have. It was camp, glamorous and outrageous.

Set in The Box, a large black cube in Garden of Unearthly Delights, five glamorous queens – three in drag and two women – show off their skills and their swagger.

These performances go way beyond lip-syncing.

Hannie Helsden – a hula-hoop-swinging, pole–dancing star, and a Taylor Swift doppelgänger – demonstrates stunning feats of strength and flexibility as fellow queens high-kick and vogue around her to the sound of club anthems.

The burlesque goddess Zelia Rose lights up the stage with fire-eating and striptease.

Valerie Hex’s turn as Prince, the kitsch purple magician, is a hilarious highlight – as is Jandruze, who emerges from behind curtains in BDSM-wear, ready to pack an audience member into an unexpected item of food, and Benjamin Hancock, who mesmerises as a rouge devil.

This show demands audience participation, and Saturday night’s crowd was more than willing to get involved – cheering and clapping and whooping throughout.

This year’s performance, a partial rehash of last year’s Yummy Deluxe, has a notable absentee: Jarred Dewey, the trapeze-swinging acrobat and contortionist who thrilled Adelaide audiences in 2019. His absence stripped Yummy Unleashed of some of last year’s wow factor. Nonetheless, this show is well worth your cash.

It’s a joyous, mischievous, impressive and totally weird experience, mixing the sexy with the bizarre.

Lady Gaga would approve.

Yummy Unleashed is in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, with further performances from February 18-23 and March 3-15.

 See more InDaily Fringe and Festival stories and interviews here.


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