AFTER DARK: SOCIETY PERFORMANCE REVIEW



Garnering nationwide acclaim, multi-award-winning circus extravaganza Society is a feisty, raunchy, sensual and erotic yet tongue-in-cheek show put together by the AfterDark Theatre and Circus Production team - live and kicking since 2007 - that teases and plays with possibilities, challenging norms at all times and seducing us through a number of steamy, mesmerising, and acrobatic acts.


A show that could not have been more perfect for the magical Wonderland Spiegeltent, Society, winner of contemporary circus and fringe festival awards for almost 6 consecutive years, steeps its ultimately universal narrative in the deep American South, turning to New Orleans for inspiration and drawing from mysticism and dark spirituality, while blending genres and combining Creole voodooism and contortionist acts, with French masquerade that remind of Cirque du Soleil, smooth and sexy Latin Ballroom, self-mocking Burlesque, and unconventional Ballet in one wondrous mix.



Kickstarting the show already off stage, flamboyant MC and Creative Producer Francesco Minniti can certainly tell a story! Wearing a colourful suit that will soon be seamlessly replaced by another as if through magical intervention, Minniti opens up a dialogue with the audience as we enter, showering us with compliments as we make our way to the seats. Onto the stage slides suave and elegant, talented lead vocalist and Music Director Kara Ciezki boosted by 4-member jazz-infused live band the Funk Buddies. Musical lyrics dictate the acts to follow, with Nina Simone’s I Put a Spell on You immediately followed by a spell-bounding act. This continues to be the case throughout a show that pleasurably confronts us with the “dirty” and the forbidden, is inspired by Mardis Gras and the carnivalesque, and toys with the idea of fluid gender and sexual identities: women engage in aesthetically pleasing erotic acts with other women,women gain the upper hand in erotic acts with men, and men engage in self-seduction through suggestive interactions with stage props.


Lustful, sexy, and playfully explorative, Society embraces all the secret societies out there while at the same time presenting us the many layers of that One Larger Society that we are all a part of. All along, this brilliant show proves that anything is possible if we give free reign to imagination.


Rating: 9/10


DETAILS

Wonderland Spiegeltent

Dates: 17 - 22 September: Wonderland Spiegeltent

Location: Federation Square (The Paddock) Batman Avenue Times: Tues - Sun 9:00pm

Fringe Hub Dates: 25 - 29 September: Fringe Hub

Location: Trades Hall - Cnr Lygon and Victoria Sts, Melbourne CBD Times: Wed - Sat 6:30pm, Sun 5:30pm

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Tickets: $39 Full, $35 Concession (weekends), $35 Full, $32 Concession (week days), $30 Tuesdays and Grps 6+

Bookings: (03) 9660 9666 or online

After Dark Theatre Website

Melbourne Fringe Website