The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Rundle Park until March 13
Review by Honey B
The searing disco inferno that is Velvet has made a scorching return to The Garden of Unearthly DelightsAward-winning director Craig Ilott and his superb ensemble cast featuring disco goddess Marcia Hines and the gorgeously talented Brendan Maclean have upped the fever since the show premiered at the 2015 Adelaide Fringe.The high-energy, eclectic music, circus and theatre show simply pulsates with energy and passion as the tight-knit ensemble strut their stuff on-stage.One cast member, burlesque queen Perle Noire unfortunately could not return to the production for this season.The joyous thing about this sensational show is that young, highly talented singer/dancers Rechelle Mansour and Chaska Halliday have stepped up to fill in some of the gaps with breathtaking routines. These girls never miss a beat or a note.DJ Joe Accaria was also on the beat and his role has also been expanded in the show. Beats simply pulsate through his veins.Velvet is your quintessential Studio 54 and into this hedonistic, underground discotheque stumbles a wide-eyed innocent performed to perfection by Maclean.His character is on a journey of self-discovery and he ends up being guided by Hines’ glorious disco diva.The young man meets other strange characters in the club including the deliciously camp and incredible hula hoop boy, Craig Reid who twirled and shimmed in brightly coloured lycra like there was no tomorrow. Reid was a crowd-pleaser and received many hoots of delight from the audience.Bringing the sexy back leather-clad biker flew through the air to the Weather Girls’ hit It’s Raining Men as Hines and her two sassy diva apprentices Halliday and Mansour shimmy on the stage.Hines shone in a tight sparkly gold mirrored dress and exuded class, as well as a few knowing winks to audience members, as she gave an exceptional vocal performance.The endearing songstress delighted fans with hits including Enough Is Enough (No More Tears), You and Never Knew Love Like This Before.The bond between Hines and Maclean was absolutely palpable. Maclean never for a millisecond dropped out of character and he was a dream to watch.All of the ensemble cast lived through their characters – each and everyone was entirely believable.There was plenty of light and dark in this underground world and a highlight was Maclean’s reinvention of the Bee Gee’s Stayin’ Alive on the ukulele – it was a beautifully haunting version.Of course disco fever is too much for anyone to resist and Maclean dazzled as he transformed into a feathered number to join the rest of the boogie-licious cast.This polished production is a piece of pure perfection with mind-blowing theatrics, sound and lighting.The 70s disco inferno was well and truly lit with audience members not wanting to leave the spiegeltent for home and Accaria spinning a few extra disco tunes for those pumped up to party after an infectious, hip-swivelling show.