Arriving at the Speakeasy HQ’s Apollo Theatre is like stepping into the late 19th century. From the architecture hailing from a bygone Melbourne era, to the rich colours and furnishings, you’ll forget that you are just one story above busy modern-day Flinders Street. The venue is bustling with activity as the audience filters through from the lounge into the hazy theatre beyond the doorway.
As you settle into your seat for the first half of the nights revelry, the MC Juan Miles takes to the stage to kick things off with a quick, funny personal introduction He ties the Vaudeville Cavalcade portion of the night together with a mix of self-deprecating humour and edgy jokes.
The acts start off light-heartedly with Chris Holton’s unique juggling act, Roy Maloy’s engaging prop comedy, and a quirky, romantic tune by Ukulele Will. Victoria Wolfe and Aurora Flair both perform visually magical and mesmerizing acts; Wolfe with a glimmering fibre optic display, and Aurora with captivating whirls of flame.
The vaudeville acts wrap up with a couple more relatable and humorous comedy stand-ups by Aiden Pyne and Sonia Di lorio, as well as a few fantastic balancing acts by Tam Tam Sideshow Man. Juan jumps on stage one last time to hand over the MC role to Grant Busé, who proceeds to rile up the audience in preparation for the transition to the Burlesque Extravaganza.
Grant dominates the stage with his hilarious comments, cheeky song, and glorious mane of hair. He is immediately approachable, and guides the audience through the burlesque acts with a fantastic combination of impeccably timed improv and perfectly executed comedy.
Izzy Bellisima starts thing off with a sensual version of a Michael Jackson hit, and Just Joshing follows her performance with a boylesque act, just to keep the audience on their toes. The show then makes a stop in Ancient Egypt when Jackyl – The Pharaoh’s Only Daughter slinks on stage with a gracefully sensual belly dance burlesque. Lucy La Parr presents her own sharp take on the classic burlesque, and Victoria Wolfe performs a fantastically energetic and sexy piece to conclude the night’s debauchery.
Not only does the Apollo Theatre provide an exciting venue to enjoy a delightfully unique night of shows, but they put together such a colourful variety of talented performers that you will quickly put aside your various streaming devices in favour of this up close and personal entertainment to fill your nights as often as possible.
Review by Alyssa Baker
Pictures by Jeevan Surendran
More info and to book visit The Apollo Theatre