Review by Anina-Marie Van Wyk
Get ready to be seduced by the dark and daring Abadon Burlesque Show: My Bloody Valentine! This macabre masterpiece is currently mesmerizing audiences at The Ron Hurley Theatre in Seven Hills, and it’s an absolute must-see. The show’s deliberate celebration of all body types is a breath of fresh air, empowering us to embrace our sensual sides regardless of our shape or size. And let’s not forget the seductively spooky tie-in between horror and burlesque, which will tantalize fans of Rocky Horror Picture Show, Beetlejuice, and The Corpse Bride. It’s an extremely entertaining, incredibly sexy, and brilliantly crafted celebration of all things scary and seductive.
The direction by Liam Donnelly and Tayla Simpson is clear and draws out character motivations. Donnelly and Simpson have done an excellent job at drawing out the most interesting and unique aspects of each performer, showcasing their talents and personalities in a way that feels authentic and compelling. The result is a show that feels cohesive and well-crafted, despite the absence of a traditional narrative.
One of the true stars of the Abadon Burlesque Show is choreographer Tayla Simpson. The choreography in this production is simply stunning, with unexpected and thoroughly entertaining routines that showcase the skills and artistry of the performers. With standout numbers like the robotic dance routine set to Daft Punk’s “Technologic.” This section is excellently executed, perfectly capturing the essence of the song in a visually striking and entertaining way.
Another standout routine is the beautiful and storytelling dance to Lana Del Rey’s “Gods and Monsters,” which combines contemporary and jazz styles to create a mesmerizing visual experience. The weird and wacky zombie walks in the “Living Dead Girl” routine by Rob Zombie is another highlight of the show, breaking typical dance expectations and providing a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining performance. And last but not least, the sexy and skillful choreography set to Alice Cooper’s “Poison” is arguably the most memorable routine of the entire show. Simpson’s choreography is truly exceptional, creating a perfect complement to the show’s spooky and seductive vibe.
The Abadon Burlesque Show is not only a feast for the eyes, but also a treat for the ears, thanks to the excellent lighting and technical design by Footlights Theatrical. The simple spotlight used for Don worked particularly well, drawing attention to the performer and creating a focused atmosphere. In other numbers, brightly colored reds and greens were used to great effect to highlight the ghostly and ghoulish effects that complemented the performances perfectly. While the show didn’t feature microphones for the performers, this didn’t detract too much from the overall experience. Although it would have been nice to hear the performers more clearly, we understand the constraints of independent theatre budgeting. However, the sound effects by Georgina Noir were exceptional, with perfectly designed audio effects that elevated the show to the next level. The combination of the expert lighting and sound design with the fantastic performances made for a truly unforgettable experience.
One standout number for sound in the Abadon Burlesque Show was the performance of Jace Everett’s “Bad Things” at the end of the first act, which was sung by Ellie Oster in the role of Don. Oster’s fabulous vocals, combined with the expert choreography, made for an excellent performance. The first act ended on a high note, with all the stunning performers onstage, creating a memorable and exhilarating experience for everyone in the audience.
The costumes designed by Tayla Simpson and the cast, were simply stunning. The combination of sexy and gothic elements, with a touch of horror, created a unique and memorable look that perfectly complemented the performances. The makeup was also used to great effect, highlighting the characters and drawing out the horror elements. The minimalistic set, featuring a singular coffin, added to the spooky atmosphere of the show.
While the set was simple, it did not pose an obstacle for the fantastic cast, who had plenty of room to play and dance. In fact, the lack of a complex set design gave the performers more room to showcase their skills and personalities, making for an even more enjoyable experience for the audience. The overall aesthetic of the show was superb, with every element of the design coming together to create a cohesive and visually stunning production.
The performances in this production are beyond excellent! Thoroughly entertaining, devilishly deadly and scarily seductive, these performers brought immense skill and talent to the stage.
Donalda “Doń” D’Bauch, performed by Ellie Oster, was one of the standout performers in The Abadon Burlesque Show. Oster’s excellent characterisation, slow and smooth movements, and perfectly executed performance made for an unforgettable experience. The way she developed the character through her movements was truly impressive, drawing the audience in and making them feel like they were a part of the performance. Oster’s talent and skill as a performer were on full display in this role, and she left a lasting impression on everyone in the audience. Overall, her performance was a highlight of the show, and she proved to be a real asset to the production.
Emma Davis, who portrayed The Fallen Angel, was an absolute standout performer. Davis wowed the audience with her incredible ability to portray emotions through her facial expressions, bringing an extra layer of depth to her performance. As a dancer, Davis was stunning – every movement was executed with precision and grace, captivating the audience with her beauty and skill.
Eleanor Crosse’s portrayal of Sophia Benoit was outstanding, with stunning dance moves and excellent characterisation that was both highly entertaining and engaging to watch. Evie Ford’s performance as The Techno Tease was thoroughly enjoyable, as she displayed impressive skill in maintaining robotic moves throughout, along with excellent facial expressions that captivated the audience.
George Sharman delivered a standout performance as The Beast of Belfast, with excellent stage presence and an undeniable dedication to his role that kept the audience fully engaged. Lawson Schafer’s performance as Harvey Dupree was a delightful mix of fun and excellent stage presence, showcasing his wonderful dancing skills, all while he exuded a contagious joy on stage.
Evan Poschinger brought Bart Bordeaux to life with a great characterisation, combining impressive comedic timing and dancing skills that made for a highly entertaining performance. Natasha Maree’s perfectly seductive portrayal of Amber Seline was a highlight of the show, displaying excellent stage presence that made for a highly enjoyable performance.
Nyisha Bill-Eteson’s performance as Rosey Roarke was extremely entertaining, combining humor and terror with great audience interaction that drew us deeper into the show. Sarah Engelsmann’s stunning portrayal of Miriam Du’Maurier showcased excellent dancing and characterisation, delivering an impressive and engaging performance. Eva Gosk’s performance as The Living Dead Girl delivered another excellent characterisation, with fantastically freaky dance moves and a perfectly executed performance that kept the audience on the edge of their seats.
The Abadon Burlesque Show: My Bloody Valentine is a macabre masterpiece that combines horror and burlesque in an entertaining and seductive way. The show celebrates all body types, empowering audiences to embrace their sensual sides, regardless of shape or size. The choreography, lighting, and sound design are exceptional, with standout performances from the cast. The show is a feast for the senses, and an experience not to be missed.
The Abadon Burlesque Show must close this Saturday, don’t miss out! Get your tickets here!
For something a little different, check out the drinking game we’ve created for the show!
The Abadon Burleqsue Show Drinking Game – by Kieran J. Evans:
Take a sip
- Before the show starts, familiarise yourself with the program.
- Do you see a face you know? Drink.
- Scan the audience for faces you know.
- Onstage violence!
- Old McDonald had some ethereal entities
- Human experimentation
- For every toll of the bell (8)
- The lights have changed colour!
- Unexpected retro dancing
- Air guitar!
- For the makeup and costumers
- For each mythological entity appearance; fallen angel, succubi, the Irish
- Accent mashup
- JAZZ HANDS
- Half time show. ((Recover. Fetch more drinks))
- CRAZY EYES
- The human approximation of a techno remix
- Wear a hat! Anybody wearing a hat can’t possibly have anything other than fun
- Make them adlib by muttering something in the front row
- Medical props gone seriously downmarket to the underworld
- There’s insurance in the afterlife. Death, taxes, and fucking insurance hawkers
- Pickpockets of the world unite!
- Full chorus line!
- Send them off with a song, maestro!
Take a shot
- Audience participation!
- Gothic pop reference!
- When you discover what is used for barter and currency in the underworld
- When you recognise your desire for a wardrobe malfunction
- And it is achieved! Because burlesque
- It’s all ogre now; very shrexy
- Rictus grins
- Bow ties? One for each.
- Mini chorus line!
- At the realisation that the male presenting characters are basically just props and stagehands
- As the screen takes it’s sweet time to unravel
Finish your drink
- If the mute ever speaks (even if you have to hang out to corner them post-show)
- If a performer makes direct eye contact with you
- When you figure out where Don D’Bauch lies in the sub/Dom spectrum – number eight will surprise you!
- In lieu of a standing ovation, as you may be debilitatingly physically affected by the show in some way, shape, or form; kindly shotgun whatever is left of your beverage and dispose of it in the lobby receptacles. Thank you.