Diary of a Power Pussy #melbfringe2017

It’s a happening, Fringe Festival night in Melbourne. You’re feeling the vibes. You’ve got yourself a ticket to one quirky little number at The Butterfly Club. Finally, you find the little alleyway, and down the back that venue with that charmingly old-fashioned signage beckons you. You find yourself a little excited…but not in the usual way, when you’re seeing a show. Maybe a little giddy. Somewhat willing for the surrender. A little tingly in those areas…after all, it’s the adults-only hour, and the show is called “Diary of a Power Pussy.”

So, you’re in. Old-school rock ‘n’ roll calls to you from upstairs. Up you go. Grab yourself a drink. The place is a mess, but in a Melbourne sort of way. Then, a bell rings. You follow your host down a corridor, to a junction. Two sets of patrons have arrived before you. He’s checking their tickets; ‘Upstairs, you go’ he says, ‘Upstairs…’; then he reads yours: ‘You’re downstairs’.

Down, into the intimate theatre with the little stage. Now the excitement is taking hold. There’s one thing better than cabaret, it’s after-hours, downstairs cabaret. The other guests are seated. A deeper bell tolls. In a dark robe, Sophie deLightful takes to the stage. She sure is, you might think. You haven’t seen anything yet.

She and her backing dancers open the show with an aggressively inspiring, overtly sexual show of personal power, dashed with a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor manifest foremost by the clitoris hat. But this is humor that empowers. Dialogue comes after the tribal routine, and there’s no pussy-footing around. We’re talking about vagina here, people. Sophie has a point; when the news isn’t Trump, it’s some other despot, or a big missile, or a big tower…enough dick already! Some of us have our own, others have their fill. It’s the vagina’s turn to have the spotlight.

But “Diary of a Power Pussy” offers something more. There is, of course, the assortment of performers, burlesque and circus pros who seemed not the slightest bit inhibited by the tightness of their stage, and you’ll feel differently about blood and bubble gum by the end, rest assured. But Sophie knew how to take it down a gear as well. After the power-house opening, she took her time with us. As she coyly read from the titular diary, she to us with heart-rendering connection and intimate sensuality. “I Put a Spell on You” and, from “Grease”, “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” were the standouts. All were accompanied by Michael Chalk’s live, on-stage piano.

Sophie deLightful & Michael Chalk

~Sophie DeLightful with Michael Chalk

Sudden softness and intimacy might not seem to belong, but in the moment, it’s hard not to be taken by them. But rest assured, Sophie and the team amp up the vibrations before the end, and finish with an almighty bang.

A charged, polished, funny and seriously sexy Fringe experience.

Review by: Max Davine

Photo credit:  Ange Leggas,  3 Fates Media

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