Far from the fan dances and feather boas of traditional burlesque, Jaded Vanities has been described as a “dark sexual journey of the imagination”. Recommended for ages 18-plus, the late-night performance is a theatrical expression, apparently, of Sydney-based Beattie’s innermost thoughts.
“This is a show where I get to have a bit of fun, going to more darker parts of my mind,” he tells InDaily.
“I want to put the raw ideas which have just come into my head on-stage. I often like to challenge people with those ideas, to play with their minds a little bit.
“Every time we do it, it definitely challenges people, and it always divides audiences. But everybody knows what they’re getting. They want to try something different.”
Jaded Vanities will traverse themes such as consumerism, social media and fetishism.
“When you talk about fetishism people obviously have that whole idea of what it is – latex and all that kind of stuff,” Beattie says.
“But fetishism, to me, is a personal thing, and in my show I try to show fetishism as something beautiful, something people find attractive.
“When you explain it the next morning to someone who hasn’t seen the show, it might come across as distracting or gross, but when it’s presented it comes off as truly beautiful.”
After developing a passion for burlesque as a child, Beattie travelled to London and America to immerse himself in the world of burlesque.
He returned to Australia to form his theatre company Russall S. Beattie Presents, which specialises in burlesque performance and has previously presented Star Wars burlesque parody Empire Strips Back, The Dames of Thrones, and Batman Follies of 1929.
“Anything that shakes the boundaries, I’ve done it, and it keeps me interested in burlesque,” Beattie says.
“I’m a big believer in trying to evolve the genre. This is a very contemporary show; it shows how those ideologies of burlesque can be transported to a contemporary environment.”
Jaded Vanities will be performed at The Spiegeltent in the Garden of Unearthly Delights from February 12 to March 13 as part of the Adelaide Fringe.