The Edith Spiegeltent is sensually lit. Jazz covers fill the room, and my gaze drifted toward a somewhat unmissable 7-foot bearded lady named Gingzilla, whose majestic facial hair shames my own.
I watched her tenderly place a single kernel of popcorn on an unsuspecting punter’s bald head as she walks past, expertly navigating in gigantic heels.
She’s part of a ragtag assortment of delinquents, divas and genderbenders who were, unbeknownst to me, about to put on an absolutely incredible display of raunchy and rebellious Berlin-inspired ‘kabarett’. Welcome to the Little Death Club.
Your host will be the mistress of mayhem herself, Bernie Dieter.
Dieter is a debaucherous delight, captivating the room with a magnetic stage presence and a contagious energy that is in equal parts hilarious and erotic.
No-one is safe from the knife edge of her wit, and she thrives on recruiting innocent participants – after all, a good audience is like good sex, ja?
I’m inclined to advise that should you suddenly feel the urge to send her intimate personal items, they may not stay very private.
The performance is an emotional roller coaster, a world class cabaret that will have you utterly present for its entire duration.
Punctuated by Dieter’s haunting vocals, the brooding contortionist Beau Sargent movies his body with such skill and grace that you’ll be cringing through tears.
Lolo Brow is a captivating relic from the sideshows of old, and she has an intimate relationship with fire that leaves you wondering how she still has eyebrows.
She does this thing with a drill, and… you’re going to have to see it.
They’re joined by the unique Leah Shelton, the neo-burlesque professional that is both confronting and surreal, and the aforementioned Gingzilla, who sings a soaring melody that I vote is a real contender for our new national anthem.
My only sympathy is for the cleaners.
Maybe it’s not the place to bring the kids, but the raw, primal appeal is universal and undeniable. This is FRINGE at its very best.
I’d love to join the Little Death Club. Judging by the audience’s reaction – you will, too.