Edgar Allan Poe may have believed that “literature is the most noble of professions”, but this performance provides a new perspective, with the Poe Burlesque Theatre presenting 25 years of enamourment, playfulness and love.
Poe’s words act as narrator and confessor as we are privy to the brazenly advertised salacious scenes.
With plenty to glitter in the dark, these scenes are not affronting – though if you are not up for tassles of tribute, corsets and garters, then perhaps it isn’t for you. Monologues of melancholy partner with dance routines of tantalisation, topped with piano solos and exquisite ostrich feather gyrations; the aura of Satin Spitfire, Mystique Rose and Ginger Foxx sets the tone, which is one of playfulness and despair.
There are gothic overtones in Edgar’s Girls that reflect the era of the creator of a new literary form: the short story. Dark lace and stockings form a backdrop for episodes of affection and bodice-wrapped encounters. This is not a freak show but there is a quirkiness that reminds you of it: shrunken guitars, pale blue dreams, Vadar rap.
This production presents well in an intimate venue (La Boheme) with restricted stage space. It’s suitably Fringey, with a scant set and no frills; extraneous noise blends with the environment like a complementary character seeping in to the performance. There is a sense of chic with chandeliers and booths, and the ambience sets the tone.
This is now a flawless production, but it shows respect for Poe, shares information about his life and teases us with a series of solo performances that are sometimes vulnerable, sometimes provocative.
The final performance of Edgar’s Girls is at La Boheme tonight (March 13) at 6pm.
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