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Lip Service by Melbourne Theatre Company - Review

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by Cate Altamura (subscribe)
Ever since I was 7-years-old, I knew I wanted to be a writer and made my own Mr Men books. Today, I am a freelance writer and have the privilege to review bands, theatre and comedy across Melbourne, not to mention interview some incredible artists.
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Get to know the story behind Helena Rubinstein
Cosmetics Queen Helena Rubinstein is well known for her luxurious skincare products and lucrative beauty empire - but do you know the woman behind it all? As a Polish-Jewish immigrant to Australia, she rose to fame and pioneered the first water-proof mascara in a male-dominated world. Lip Service, currently playing at The Southbank Theatre until 28 July pays homage to Rubinstein's career that began in country Victoria.

Helena Rubinstein emigrated from Poland to Australia in 1902, and settled in Victorian town, Coleraine. With little money, she started selling her Polish mother's face cream and sourced lanolin from local farmers. This was the beginning of a new life for Rubinstein and one that would see her immortalised for years to come. Although she came from humble beginnings, she went on to build a lucrative empire largely based in New York. Her first luxurious beauty salon, Salon de Beauté Valaze, was located in Collins St, Melbourne.

Helena Rubenstein, Amanda Muggleton, Lawler Theatre, make up, HR
Lip Service - now playing at The Southbank Theatre

After sellout seasons in London and Sydney, John Misto's Lip Service, is hilarious and explores an imagined relationship between an elderly Rubinstein and Arden in 1950s and 1960s.

Amanda Muggleton is spectacular as Rubinstein and captures her strength and brashness. Linden Wilkinson performs the role of Elizabeth Arden, Rubinstein's tough competitor in the industry. Septimus Caton performs the role of Rubinstein's minder and gives us a brief moment of nudity. The dynamic between the trio feels natural and Muggleton delved deep to give a fine performance that not only captured Rubinstein's beauty but also her strength and more importantly her flaws. Rubinstein built an incredible empire but along the way she saw her marriages fall apart and her relationship with her sons suffered. She was often lonely and worked as it was the one thing that wouldn't leave her.

Directed by Jennifer Hagan, Lip Service offers up a lot of drama and hilarious one-liners that keep on coming. Refreshingly funny and commanding performance that will leave you yearning for more.

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Why? Get to know Helena Rubinstein
When: Now until 28 July
Phone: 8688-0800
Where: Southbank Theatre
Cost: From $50
Your Comment
It was a great show, I went on opening night. It's great that she has some history to Australia.
by Belinda Price (score: 2|424) 797 days ago
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