It was impossible not to miss Gloria at the meeting point at Fringe Central.
Magnificent in her short shiny red ruffled eighties power dress with bouffant blonde hair enthusiastically welcoming us and instantly making us part of her wild world.
Gloria, portable boombox at hand, was charming and persuasive and in no time at all inducted us into her entourage with a few essential dance steps and songs.
It was a glorious confection of loud upbeat classic 80s songs – think Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Bowie, Jason Donavan, Madonna, and Laura Brannigan.
Guests were predominantly female, dressed 80s style in legwarmers, leggings, short skirts, fluoro, big hair, lots of jewellery and lurid coloured eye makeup. Gloria’s driver, Monique, of Hiddendetours, was at hand offering elastic bands in case we needed a side-pony.
Eight of the guests had come as a group, however, Gloria ensured everybody felt included and we were all ‘Girls that want to have fun’.
This experiential show is a totally immersive crazy minibus and walking tour of the city and Northbridge of the 1980s. It is not for the shy or unfit.
Be prepared to take on a role supporting Gloria make what might be her last documentary for the BBC before she gets deported. Space limited us to an intimate 12 and we weren’t just onlookers, we were the show and Gloria’s entourage.
She assigned each of us specific roles such as director, AD, clapper, makeup, paparazzi, and spiritual advisor. Gloria’s security, ‘Mr T’, nearly stole the show, taking her role to the extreme stopping traffic so we could cross the road safely ‘like an Egyptian’.
Our glamorous host, Gloria, turned back time and divulging secrets about what went on in the nightclubs in the 80s in Perth including the revelation that ‘Suicide Blonde’ was really written about her ‘not Paula’.
A highlight for me was our choreographed routine to You Can’t Stop the Music in the middle of Northbridge and the sheer fun of skipping along James Street with Gloria in broad daylight.
One of the happy guests described it as “a walking karaoke tour”.