Review | Club Swizzle is quintessential Fringe World fun

Club Swizzle | Ice Cream Factory | til Feb 25th | ★ ★ ★ ★ 

The performers of Fringe World newbie Club Swizzle had big shoes to fill following the success of their sister show La Soiree at festivals past, but it’s clear the same blood runs through the veins of both festival favourites.

Audiences enter the Ice Cream Factory’s warehouse venue to a bustling on-stage bar, where viewers are encouraged to grab a drink and get in the mood. Once the buzz was thrumming, Swizzle band The Unexpected Perks gave the cue and the barstaff get to packing up the stage – revealing that they are among the show’s performers themselves as the bar neatly transforms into a catwalk stage.

Enter Rueben Kaye! The show’s flamboyant ringmaster is right at home on the runway, grabbing the audience’s attention immediately with his incredibly exaggerated lashed-up eye. Like a homosexual Mask-era Jim Carrey*, Kaye is near maniacal as he sweeps the audience throwing gags and successfully maintained the crowd’s bouts of laughter throughout the performance.

The rest of the Swizzle ensemble are a mash-up of experts in different disciplines, much like La Soiree. Comedian Amy G, burlesque star Laurie Hagen, the dapper Dandy Wellington and aerial artist Yammel Rodriguez round out the cast, alongside the acrobatic bartenders and Kaye.

Hagen was an absolute showstopper whenever she took to the bar-stage, kicking the festivities off perfectly with an incredibly executed pseudo-drunk striptease that looked so accidental it could only have been meticulously rehearsed.

Though the show was impressive and entertaining overall, I suspect my expectations were set a little too high having seen La Soiree. Some of the ‘wow’ moments were a little lacking compared to Soiree – but Swizzle makes up for it with its charming host and commitment to the swanky club theme.

My advice would be not to approach Club Swizzle as La Soiree 2.0, but come with an open mind, an empty cup and expect to leave the Ice Cream Factory well and truly swizzled.

Get down to Club Swizzle at The Ice Cream Factory until February 25th. Tickets and more info available from fringeworld.com.au

Leigh Andrew Hill

*It should be noted I made the Kaye/Carrey comparison before I read it in his program bio.


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