Fringefeed Woodside

Worship

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If you thought Fringe had delivered all that it had to offer, guess again: Worship is here to arouse even the most sacred and holy parts of your soul, and is guaranteed to leave you squirming in a most sacrilegious manner.

This late night variety show is homegrown avant-garde burlesque done right, a veritable layered feast of visuals and symbology where costume, lights and physicality help the performer transcend into a realm that is both otherworldly and erotic.

From the circus prowess of Matthew Pope to the enchanting fire magic of Smokey LaBare to the vicious vocals of Veronica Lily, the cast of Worship is top notch.

Add the devilish undressing of Darla Harland, the grotesque gorgeousness of Ginava and the deadly dominion of local burlesque beauty Essie Foxglove, and you have the making of a congregation who cavort the stage, eager to indoctrinate you with their infectious yet intellectual indecency.

What makes this show such a wonder to behold is that it works on a number of levels.

There’s the surface level, full of sin and skin where bodies of all shapes, sizes and abilities are celebrated and revered.

But beneath all of this is an exploration of religious iconography, both historical and global, presented in a thoroughly subverted manner that simply elevates this already subversive experience further.

At its crux, Worship deconstructs notions of blind faith and exaltation by asserting the depravity of devotion. And it does this by serving up a heady and unholy mix of performance art, circus, drag, burlesque, physical endurance and live singing.

Add a whole heap of truly incredible costumes, and you’ll either be clutching at your pearls or falling to your knees in complete adoration.

So come, oh faithful followers of Fringe, and prepare to lay your head at this altar of most elegant, gothic burlesque. Come… and Worship.

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Review by Scott-Patrick Mitchell on 08 Feb 2019

Scott-Patrick Mitchell (SPM) is a West Australian performance poet and writer. SPM appears in such literary journals as Island, Southerly, Westerly and Cordite. SPM has been writing since 1998 and has been involved in the West Australian arts scene since 2002. Visit his 'gram, @spmpoet, for daily doses of wholesome micropoetry.