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Don't be fooled by the sparkly hotpants- these guys CAN move
Turning up in Northbridge at 7:30pm and making an off-the-cuff decision about what to do for the rest of the evening might be a dull experience if it weren't for the 2013 Fringe Festival, which sprung to life in the Cultural Centre at the end of January. When my friend and I arrived at the box office there was a range of shows promoting rush tickets varying in price from $10 to $25, all starting within the next two hours. We really were spoilt for choice, but I'm confident we made the right one. And so we saw the Lords of Strut's Sell Out Show.
Unfortunately, we saw the final show that the Lords of Strut are doing at the Perth Fringe Festival. But, to share our experience you could either fly to Adelaide - the Lords are performing from March 10 to 17 at The Bally. Or, you could wait until the last weekend of March and snap up some tickets for another "Sell Out Show" show at the Fremantle Arts Centre. Alternative to both of those prospects is the option to check out another Perth Fringe Festival show between now and February 24. Visit the website for all the options.
The Lords of Strut "Sell Out Show" was discounted to $10 and took place at the top of the James Street/Roe Street carpark, where the rooftop cinema might normally be. The show was classified as circus, which seemed like an exciting alternative to my nights in watching Midsomer Murders (which, to be quite honest, is something I very much enjoy, despite my mere 20 years of age). I decided that a circus act is probably not one that would usually be this accessible, if it weren't for the festival, whereas theatre and comedy have made their mark on the Perth arts scene recently, and are likely to maintain a healthy popularity. We didn't really have a lot of time to reflect on our decision to see "Sell Out Show", and didn't really have any expectations at all given that the time between buying the tickets and seeing the show was cheerfully filled devouring San Churros. But had we put any thought into wondering what we were about to see, I'm sure it wouldn't have done justice to the actual performance which was undoubtedly remarkable.
It was two unassuming Irishmen- known as the Lords of Strut- that carried the entire performance. By unassuming, I mean they looked like a couple of guys who'd chucked on some sparkly hotpants. But then they moved, and you could tell that this show was not just the result of a lot of rehearsals, but was reliant on a great amount of actual talent. The self-deprecating and childlike nature of Sean, and the decidedly unattractive advances of Seamus were hilarious on their own, but coupled with their constantly changing and perfectly timed facial expressions that were probably being mirrored by the audience (I know I was having trouble keeping my face still!) there was rarely an unfunny moment.
There was an element of post-modernism to how the show played out. It was as if we were concurrently seeing a show, and seeing a show about people being in a show. At times, it could have been difficult to tell what was part of the act and what was happening by accident, except for the fact that it's doubtful a show this potentially dangerous would leave room for any mistakes. It was amusing to see Sean "accidentally" drop Seamus after lifting him above his head, but I highly doubt it was any less practised then when Sean slipped out the back of a chair by folding himself in half.
It was these "mistakes" that made the show stand out from what I imagine a usual circus might involve; stunt after stunt, each reliant on the approval of the audience. In "Sell Out Show", the stunts always seemed more impressive because of the prevalence of the storyline that was playing out between the brothers (they claim to be brothers, but I think it's more of a device for the purpose of the tour); it took me by surprise when they'd break from arguing over George Michael into some very impressive lifts and dips. Some audience interaction added a few good laughs, too. Sean played the part of the naive younger brother who has no luck with women, and I got to be the lucky girl who he tested his brother's never-fail pick-up line on. A shaking, nervous and very sweaty Sean came staggering up to me and said, with great difficulty, "Did heaven hurt you when you fell on yourself?" Needless to say, we won't be going on a date anytime soon.
The Lords of Strut interspersed their skits with some live advertising of their line of male cosmetics (because you're not a real celebrity unless you have a cosmetics range, right?). Some of the jokes got a little bit x-rated, but not the extent that it was offensive or predictable. Their website describes them as "two brothers who want nothing more than to be the most famous dancers that ever lived," as well as "Ireland's hardest working man-band". Both might be true. Check out their website and decide for yourself!