Amongst the rubble of the Festival Theatre, buried deep in the Space Theatre, Club Swizzle is a welcome distraction to the outside world. Transformed into a burlesque bar, the atmosphere hits long before the show even begins. Waiters wander and the MC, Reuben Kaye mingles and greets the guests as they take their seats. The cocktail bar in the middle of the room transforms into a stage and the show begins.
The Swizzle boys open proceedings with a bit of knife juggling, before burlesque artist Laurie Hagen gives us a drunken striptease that is as hilarious to watch as it is sexy.
New Zealander Shay Horan has the world record for putting the most rubber bands on his face and it is a record that I’m sure will stay with him for a while. As painful as it looks, it’s also hilarious, and sets the tone for the rest of the night; fun and amazement in equal measure.
Canadian aerialist Frédérique Cournoyer Lessard is next up, with a death defying show of strength and agility on the hoop, right above our heads.
MC Reuben Kaye really is the glue that holds the whole show together, his acid tongue biting hard and fast at all topics. “It’s all about me”, he declares. A look, a touch, a word, the audience have to be on guard at all times to see what happens next. His outfits are pure vaudeville glamour and there are several changes during the evening. One uncomfortable man in the audience had the good fortune to sit beneath his cape, dangling from the ceiling, so had Reuben’s crotch in his face as he climbed up to put on said jacket.
Audience participation is a good part of the show; Club Swizzle is not about sitting back and watching the show unfold, it’s about being part of the action. A pole dancing competition between a mother of two daughters and a survivor contestant is a perfect example of this. While clearly the two were out of their comfort zones, it was all in good-natured fun. A reverse strip-tease was an intriguing interlude, very cleverly executed.
The Club Swizzle boys were the stars of the show though. After their introduction with the knives, they moved onto pouring champagne while suspended from the ceiling and literally jumping through hoops, suspending themselves from poles and the rafters. As the night wore on, the heat turned up and the clothes gradually peeled away, until the four boys were showing off amazing feats of agility and strength.
After the show, the stage returned to become a bar and the performers mingled with the audience.
Club Swizzle is a fun and entertaining show with a perfect amount of glamour and seductiveness. Grab some friends and have a party.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The reviewer attended the performance on 14th December. Club Swizzle plays at the Space Theatre in Adelaide until Dec 31st.
Photo credit Kelly Carpenter.