Review | Little Death Club is anything but dead

Little Death Club | West Australian Spiegeltent | Until 16 Feb | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

Imagine the new Nina Hagen takes a trip to the Weimar Republic, stops in a few sleazy alleyway bars on the way to pick up some weird and wonderful friends, hijacks a world-class gypsy punk/jazz band and throws a fetish cabaret party in the Spiegeltent with all her new mates.

Welcome to Bernie Deiter’s Little Death Club. Brainchild of the German cabaret wunderkind of its names sake. After the obligatory 2 glasses (or so) of Sav Blanc we are greeted in the ruby light by a host of delightful freaks circling the space whilst the well-rehearsed band play a seductive, bass-heavy intro by band leader Mark Elton.

Just as you’re getting comfortable with your 3rd glass of SBS, chatting to the cute lesbian couple next to you (first date, girlfriend had never seen a fringe show…bless.) the gravelly Germanic tones of Mistress Dieter demand your attention announcing the menu of depravity, well-rehearsed talent, variety and deviance that awaits us all.

This delicious smorgasbord of highly skilled filth and seamless glamour contains a totally naked, gravity defying, naked, hair hanging aerialist (did I mention totally naked?) act by Fancy Chance (Veronica Thompson), the most outrageously sexy fire-eating/breathing/tits-on-fire-twirling/burlesque spot from Jacqueline Furey whilst Acrobat Michael Standen brought fluidity and emotion to the table as the multi-skilled sub to Dieters powerful dominatrix.

The two cherries on this naughty Black Forest Gateaux were the comic stylings and amazing costumes of super-queen Art Simone who balanced high camp, high hair and high notes to smashing effect and the beautiful contralto vocals of Bernie Dieter. Bernie, Ute Lemper called…she wants her voice back.

Despite a distracting imbalance in the sound engineering, where the band frequently drowned out the cleverly disgusting lyrics and smokey voice of Dieter’s original score (I was not the only one complaining of this), Little Death Club is everything you would expect from Berlin’s Kabarett Queen and her entourage.

I’ll be back to pay my respects once again I’m sure to a show that is anything but dead.

See Little Death Club until 16th February.

Tom Pearson is a designer, writer and arts lecturer with a degree in Theatrical Production design. He has reviewed for numerous international festivals since 2009.

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