Review | Drag and burlesque collide in The Booby Trap

The Booby Trap | Connections Nightclub | til 16th Feb | ★ ★ ★ ½ 

The Booby Trap returns to Fringe World Festival in 2019, presenting a collection of exciting drag and burlesque talents who are given the task of performing two numbers – one from each school of performance.

Opening night brought together an eclectic tasting plate of talent including local burlesque beauties Smokey LaBare and Essie Foxglove, UK sensation Aurora Galore, convention-defying drag demon Ginava and Miss Burlesque 2018/local drag treasure Scarlet Adams.

Veronica Jean Jones brought the heat to her hosting duties, and after a brief introduction the performers steamed onto the stage with their first numbers. Unfortunately, it was not explicitly defined which performance style was supposed to appear in which round – and it wasn’t entirely clear which numbers were the performer’s ‘drag’ and which were their ‘burlesque’ numbers.

I am trying my best to temper any unconscious drag-fan bias here, but Adams and Ginava really stole the show on this particular evening. Adams brought flawless execution to a drag standard with Whitney’s I Have Nothing, followed by a high-energy burlesque number that showed off why she was declared the best in the nation last year. Ginava took a different route, hysterically shrieking along to the art of Yoko Ono for her drag performance, and taking us to the beach for burlesque with her twist on The Hustle.

The other performers took their swings, and had some hits and some misses each. Foxglove brought an adorable bed-time number to the drag stage, followed by a mystical burlesque performance that doubled as a sexy tribute to Mr G dancing in the pink bag on Summer Heights High. 

LaBare seemed a little lost in her lengthy burlesque number, but impressed with a dramatic transformation into a drag king for her second spot, while Galore brought a frenetic pop-punk energy that seemed out of place for a burlesque number, but that same madness matched the mood of her drag choice (Black Box’s Ride On Time) just perfectly.

Overall the show’s concept was solid and there was some absolutely fabulous performances, but I couldn’t help but feel like there needed to be a little tightening up behind the scenes. Of course each performance is a gamble as to which performers will be appearing that evening, but if you’re a fan of drag, burlesque or both – the odds are certainly in your favour.

The Booby Trap will be at Connections Nightclub until Saturday 16th February. Tickets and more information available from fringeworld.com.au

Leigh Andrew Hill

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