Review | ‘The Underground’ brings electric and heated performance

The Underground | Planet Royale’s Royale Theatre | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

This was the finale of an electric and heated performance of The Underground at Planet Royale’s Royale Theatre. Spacious, and immersive, the theatre is a hidden gem within Perth’s vibrant Northbridge quarter – and the performance was especially spicey!

Presented by Lyons Production and Elysian Creative, The Underground brings mesmeric dance and seductive cabaret to the stage for an exclusive three-night affair. The creative partners come with a legacy of movement that spans WAAPA, Fringe World, Crown Casino, Sony Entertainment, and much more. They put their best foot forward, and stepped up, with effortless choreography that sparks nostalgia. Throughout the two-act performance, audiences were reminded of the best parts of Sweet Charity, Magic Mike, Step Up, and West Side Story – in a cavalcade of secrets, sex, and seduction – making the story familiar and fun.

The Underground transports you to the thriving dance scene of Havana, flavoured with nineties classics, and choreography that borders acrobatics. A subtle story plays out amongst each act, with the production effectively utilising multimedia with projections and trailers, which truly enlivens the experience for audiences.

Mia Simonette led the charge with a powerhouse voice, alongside Lisa Drennan who’s “No Scrubs” got the audience electrified; the breath-taking Renee (waacking artist) and Ashanti (flamenco performer); and to the talented ensemble: Rafaela, Saolin, Natalie, Braydon, Tommy, Caitlyn, Cardin, and Fraser for making it hard to sit still in the seats. Honorable mention to the amazing venue musicians; Mark (drums, percussion), Marcelo (guitar), and Iain (bass guitar) for being as much a part of The Underground as story characters, as they were the house band. Lastly, to the costume designer for making every sequence stunning, cinematic, and fabulous.

Despite some unfortunate technical errors which were distracting at times, the calibre of the dancers allowed them to execute quick recoveries that went relatively unnoticed and kept the show going. The inclusion of Regina Slay as a co-host and emcee with Jorge, allowed for comedy sets and spicy drag numbers, which was a new experience for past and repeat audiences.

The second act sees Regina Slay shine in a stage performance of Bad Romance, including an impressive flaming baton sequence that left the audience breathless – and if not a bit hot under the collar, with male dancers in leather and feathers!

With dance battles, fireball sets, to electric canons and star-crossed lovers, The Underground left you as breathless as the dancers, and wishing to escape your seat to join the ensemble.

Joshua Haines

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