A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
I have a crush on these candy performers
A singer, a contemporary dancer and a burlesque artist walk into a room. Sounds like a start of a joke, right? Or it could be the premise for Bonbon, which is currently playing in Melbourne as part of the Cabaret Fringe Festival. I can confidently say this is the sweetest little cabaret in town, with the three performers - Nadia Vickery, Olivia Lucas and Elise Brennan - demonstrating their multiple talents as they take the audience on the sweetest of rides in this show.
(From left) Nadia Vickery, Olivia Lucas and Elise Brennan perform in Bonbon. (Image credit: Serene Lorimer)
Each act in the show draws its inspiration from a wide range of sweet treats. Think doughnuts, chocolate, and even a dancing cupcake! The show starts with a great chorus line number involving the three women. Their physicality and energy is quickly apparent, as is their ability to work as a team and to remember to have fun! The performers' joy quickly transmits to the audience, which is clapping and cheering along within a short time.
The opening number chorus line
We move from the opening number to a classic burlesque dance with twirling umbrellas performed by Nadia and Elise. A spirited and cheeky piece that has been cleverly choreographed.
Elise and Nadia with twirling umbrellas
Providing balance to some of the sillier aspects of the show was the singing of Elise Brennan. Elise has a 'sweet' yet commanding voice that works very well in the context of the show.
Elise Brennan provided balance with her sweet tones
Back to the dancing cupcake. This was perhaps the most original act in the show. Nadia Vickery - classically trained dancer - is dressed in a cupcake outfit, and takes to the stage seated on a rolling stool, arms pinned by her costume. Despite these limitations, Nadia somehow manages to execute a complex and humorous dance routine. The choreography is superb. I should mention here the costuming too, which was clever and played up well to the 'bonbon' theme.
Nadia Vickery as a dancing cupcake
Naturally there has to be a big chorus line number to finish the show, and in this case, it's appropriately set to Hokey Pokey. It's such a big number that the audience also becomes involved! It's a funny and high spirited way to round out the show and ensure everyone in the audience has a smile on their face as they leave the theatre.
The finale - Hokey Pokey
Bonbon is soft, sticky and super sweet cabaret in an easily digestible form. There's a tilt at dance routines of old - think Doris Day meets Folies Bergère - but with a modern overlay. It's fun and thoroughly entertaining, and a credit to emerging director/producer Josephine Searles. I look forward to seeing more of Searles' work in the future.
Bonbon plays at The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne for two more nights - Friday 5th July and Saturday 6th July.
Tickets are full - $40, concession - $37. Click here to buy tickets online, call The Butterfly Club on (03) 9663 8107, or buy tickets at the door (if not sold out).
Except where indicated, the images in this article were taken by the writer.