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Skin Deep at Fringe World 2016

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by S Lynn (subscribe)
A freelance writer and bargain hunter with wanderlust, recently moved to Perth from Brisbane.
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Entertaining musical where beauty is skin deep
Skin Deep by Pickering Productions explores the beauty industry and society's obsession with looking perfect in an amusing way combined with well-known songs and a talented crew with melodious voices.

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The opening bars start out with the witty comment that aesthetically-based offences are considered particularly heinous and the three talented ladies who are members of the elite Beautician's Rescue Unit relay the stories behind the beautician's chair (or is it beauty therapist)?

The audience was laughing from the very start as Cynthia Fenton, Erin Hutchinson and Grace Edwards took to the stage in an energetic and comical fashion, proclaiming that '"I'm a professional but I'm no miracle worker" before bursting out into the "All I Need is a Miracle" song by Mike & the Mechanics.

The ladies in the audience would definitely relate to most of the beauty issues and mishaps, starting out with Exhibit A, exploring the wild jungles of Brazil as they explored 'the bush.' The women humorously start singing "Welcome to the Jungle" as a middle-aged woman wanders in anxious about her overgrown undergrowth.

This then led on to Exhibit B where a domineering mother schemes to make her teenage daughter a standout at her school ball. This provided Grace with plenty of opportunities to sing about her frustration with her over-protective mother with clever twists to popular songs such as 'Don't Cry Out Loud' by Melissa Manchester and a Britney Spears medley with 'Baby One More Time', 'Lucky' and 'Drive me Crazy' neatly fitting into the story.

The show also poked fun at the cosmetic surgery industry with Cynthia bursting into the 'Defying Gravity' song from Wicked referring to the pull of gravity on body parts as a Hollywood starlet considering dramatic face surgery. There is reference to botox, and the fact that "from needle to nose job it is a very slippery slope'.

The show also explores the evolution of beauty from history to present and how far women would go to look beautiful including eating tapeworms.

There is also a manic lesbian trying to keep her lovers in mind, playing on the popular Katy Perry "I Kissed a Girl" song. The show ends on a touching note, relaying the importance of beauticians in playing their part in helping others as "to look good is to feel good since our outside speaks to our inside".

The musical direction is wonderful as the crew sing with clear, beautiful voices. Timothy How who is great on the piano also does a singing number in the show. The different roles and exhibits allow the women to take turns to shine and the harmonies are a delight to listen to.

Cynthia Fenton who co-wrote the cabaret with Tyler Jacob Jones, developed the idea through her experience as a woman in the beauty industry and wanted to write about the things women go through for beauty.

The show premiered in Fringeworld last year and this is their second year in Perth. If you love a good musical with a generous touch of comedy, make sure you watch Skin Deep at the Hellenic Club of WA at 75 Stirling Street, Perth. Shows run at 7pm on Sunday the 14th of Feb, Thursday the 18th of Feb, Friday the 19th of Feb, Saturday the 20th of Feb and Sunday the 21st of Feb. Tickets start from $25 and are available from the Fringeworld box office or online

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Why? Entertaining musical where beauty is skin deep
When: Feb
Where: Hellenic Club of WA
Cost: 25
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