Adelaide Fringe Festival Review: Glory Box - Paradiso Spiegeltent (26.02.14)

Glory Box

What exactly is Glory Box all about? You tell me. I went into this show knowing nothing and left knowing even less. Described as erotic cabaret, Glory Box is much, much more than that. This is demented art-punk burlesque with a hint of drag and interpretive dance all rolled into one big beautiful mess. If that sounds like an insult, believe me, it’s not. Glory Box is completely fabulous – although I’m still not entirely sure why.

Genre indefinable, this eclectic spectacle is the latest offering from acclaimed performance group Finucane & Smith, a collective of powerful women who each bring their own unique flavour to this bizarre melting pot. Led by the commanding Moira Finucane, the cast takes the audience on a wild ride of humour, provocation, seduction and straight up absurdity.

Glory Box owns contemporary burlesque; they take the genre, spin it about a thousand times, drag it through the mud and then drop it on its head to create a whole new interpretation of an age-old art form. Music varies from industrial hardcore, to whimsical lullabies, to 80’s pop anthems, with costumes equally diverse. In the truest sense of the expression, leave your expectations at the door and don’t even try to guess what’s coming up next.

A brief intermission half way through the 75 minute performance resulted in several empty seats during the second act, proving that some people simply do not enjoy a venture outside the norm. How sorry for them I feel!

Amongst all the audacious, ludicrousness there is obscene talent to be found here. The dynamic Lilikoi Koas executes a hula hoop set unlike anything I’ve ever seen, while diva extraordinaire Sarah Ward is an empire in herself, busting out cheeky tunes like "The Cat Song" that are impossible to forget. Not to mention her remarkable 'tits and twats' frock…

Part circus, part cabaret and part nude karaoke, it’s difficult to pinpoint what makes this show so compelling. What is so entertaining about seeing a naked woman adorned in a hundred pearl necklaces lip sync to the entirety of Bonnie Tyler’s "Total Eclipse of the Heart"? Someone please tell me, because I’m still scratching my head.

Glory Box is best enjoyed six beers deep with an open mind in the company of like-minded friends. Expect nothing, enjoy the trip and if you leave utterly confused by this thrilling mind-fuck, please rest assured you are not the only one.