The Abadon Burlesque Show: Offbeat Entertainment

The Abadon Burlesque Show: My Bloody Valentine is set to shake up Brisbane’s theatre scene with its unique blend of horror and burlesque. Writer and director Liam Donnelly spoke to Bravo Brisbane about the inspiration and challenges behind the production, and his collaboration with co-director Tayla Simpson.

When asked about the inspiration behind the show, Liam said, “For a long time I’ve loved horror as a genre and have never really seen much in the way of theatre on stage. Previously I’d worked on a burlesque inspired cabaret as a writer and co-director before being let go from the production due to a number of unfortunate circumstances, but before I was I had thought that the idea was one that had a lot of potential to develop and with my love of horror and growing appreciation for burlesque as a performance style, it made me think that there hadn’t really been a burlesque show with a horror slant within Brisbane, barring Draculas on the gold coast and productions of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

One of the biggest challenges Liam faced was getting noticed as an independent producer with limited resources. He explained, “Being an independent producer with no real backing, a massive challenge has been getting it noticed. I can’t deny that the production is an extremely strange and offbeat one and especially if no one has really seen it before it’s tricky to fully describe what it really is to someone until they’re in the room. One of the funnier things when describing the show to people is whenever they ask me what the story of the show is, I have to look at them and bluntly say there isn’t one.” But Liam is quick to credit the amazing cast and creative team who have helped bring his vision to life.

Liam and co-director Tayla Simpson have worked together seamlessly to bring the show to life. Liam said, “Tayla has been such a godsend throughout this entire process. She’s been someone I’ve been able to bounce ideas off of and we’ve both been on the same page since day one. Being able to look at potential issues and work through solutions with her has made everything significantly smoother a process. Not only that but each of us have been able to compliment the others creative decisions and ideas, I know that Tayla has suggested ideas that have lead to probably some of the funnier moments in the show.”

Regarding the balance of horror and burlesque elements in the show, Liam said, “Horror and burlesque on paper look like two elements that wouldn’t really work together but if you look at them from the lense of boths cultural impact, especially in cinema, they complement each other quite well. It’s the idea of the raw experience and sensation, one hitting on fear, the other hitting on sexuality. With productions like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the elements put together can wield something wonderfully entertaining in very bizarre ways. In terms of balancing them, my approach hasn’t been to look at the production as horror, but more as comedy. Using a lot of gallows humour and counterbalancing the, to quote Clive Barker, repellent glamour, with a sense of wild energy, it’s something that makes the horror more accessible to someone who may themselves not be a big fan of the genre. Similarly, some of the best burlesque performances I have seen have been the funnier ones, in particular I recently saw Brisbane Burlesque performer Clara Cupcakes on stage and it was hilarious. Using comedy can absolutely accentuate the positives of both styles.”

When asked about the meaning of his production and what he hopes audiences will get out of it, Liam simply explained, “I’ve often rejected the notion that theatre should have a point or metaphor. It’s a big reason why political theatre has never really appealed to me that much because the focus isn’t on entertainment, it’s on ideology. Sam Raimi once said that the worst thing a piece of media can be is boring, because if it is then you’ve failed your audience. Likewise, The Abadon Burlesque Show: My Bloody Valentine has no deep meaning, has no political message, hell it doesn’t even have a story. But it does have a lot of entertainment, and audiences will go away having a damn good time at the theatre, knowing they’ve seen a show well worth the price of admission.”

Get ready to experience the thrill of terror and the tease of burlesque in this exciting new show, The Abadon Burlesque Show: My Bloody Valentine.

Book your tickets now!

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