The point of difference is that it is not all sweetness and light, or laugh out loud humour, instead, it is an insight into the life of a showgirl - Carletta the Great - the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
Carletta the Great - Showgirl
Starting in all her finery, we see Carletta as the showgirl she can be. There's a funny scene involving microphones. A LOT of microphones. And then, slowly, the showgirl is stripped bare - literally. There are no feathers, no finery, no trinkets, just the bare soul. It is raw, honest theatre.
Carletta starts to 'deconstruct'
Punctuating the showgirl segments are beautifully produced cinematic clips. 'Who are you?' a large, cinema-sized version of Carletta screams at her. She can't answer. It is the suggestion of all the insecurities we (and probably performers in particular) experience at certain times in our lives.
As the show progresses, we see Carletta 'reconstruct' herself into various performance guises to entertain her audience. Of course, there has to be a big number to finish, but it doesn't quite restore the mood to one of happiness. It's not supposed to.
I can't help but think of the sad clown scenario after seeing this show - the concept of the depressive clown who puts his/her makeup on each night and makes the audience laugh.
Inside, my heart is breaking My makeup may be flaking But my smile still stays on...
(- The Show Must Go On, Queen)
Who is the real Carletta?
This is an interesting, reflective show. If you are up for some theatre that has substance and grit, and that leaves you thinking about the messages behind it, this is the show for you.
A Showgirl: Deconstructed plays at The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place (off Little Collins Street), Melbourne at 10pm each night until Sunday 24th September.
Tickets are full - $32, concession - $28. Click here to buy your tickets online, or call The Butterfly Club on (03) 9663 8107.
The images in this article were taken by the writer. They are not to be reproduced in any form without the express permission of Weekend Notes.