The theatre has been transformed into a splendid, exuberant nightclub inspired by the romance of retro-burlesque, sumptuous music, charming artistes and liberal libations.
The atmosphere is infectious, and when the bartenders leave, the bar becomes the stage. It is the perfect venue for a show that is a confrontation of delectable circus and cabaret.
There’s jazz on tap, a cocktail of astounding acrobatics, impertinent striptease, confident singing, and sizzling music from house band Mikey Lira and The Night Caps. All this is bound together by the master (or is that mistress) of ceremonies: New York comedian Murray Hill.
Audiences get to witness – and partake in – a production that is said to spontaneous, ad-libbed and unscripted. In reality, creative producer Brett Haylock’s show is stuffed with talent, professionalism and an intensity of performance that has to be applauded. Each performer is a gifted individual who constantly appears to strive for excellence while making their art look routine.
Hill is mesmerising; he captures the spirit of the event and has a sharp instinct for a joke – often at the audience’s expense. Dandy Wellington dances and sings like a jazz-hoofer from all our yesterdays; Laurie Hagen’s reverse striptease is fabulous and spell-binding; Valerie Murzak’s extraordinary strength, poise and balance leaves everyone dazzled during her disco ball routine, and Ali McGregor is wickedly good with both her song choice and delivery.
Arguably, however, the loudest plaudits go to the Swizzle Boys for their superb and enthralling acrobatics which are more than a little dangerous.
Club Swizzle is delightfully feisty, vigorous and refreshing. Its defining feature is a decadent irreverence – an infatuation with the art of burlesque cabaret and circus while making fun of everything, including itself.
Club Swizzle is at the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Space Theatre until January 17.
Read InDaily‘s interview with Ali McGregor here.