in Club Swizzle , Inter / Reviews

Club Swizzle a cheeky take on cabaret

BELINDA SEENEY, The Courier-Mail
September 6, 2015 8:46am

Quartet the Swizzle Boys are part bartender, part performer and all show men playing starring roles in Brisbane Festival’s late night Spiegeltent show, ClubSwizzle.

The cheeky cabaret by the creators of La Soiree, which sold out its two Brisbane Festival seasons in 2012 and 2013, is one of more than a dozen shows spotlighted in the festival’s opening weekend.

San Francisco performer Joren Dawson mesmerised festival-goers last year with his aerial antics in family hit Soap, and now he is back in Brisbane in the adults-only cabaret.

“We pretty much start dressed as bartenders,” Dawson, 24, said. “I like to mess with the idea of people not quite knowing what they’re seeing when they walk in. There’s no obvious stage, just this great, old-world bar so people mingle before the show and we serve them drinks.”

Show goers would be wise to tip the bartenders as Dawson, along with Tom Flanagan, Ben Lewis and DJ Garner, are responsible for deciding who gets front row seats. Then, when the cabaret-circus-burlesque hybrid begins, the shirts come off and the show goes on.

By contrast, Belgium-based burlesque artist Laurie Hagen starts out shirtless before performing her take on the classic “reverse striptease” technique.

“I was convinced it had already been done and there are lost of acts that start out naked and get their clothes on but nothing literally in reverse,” Hagen, 38, said. She spent last week tweaking her routine for the Spiegeltent’s 360-degree performance space.

“Swapping choreography around in reverse is not the easiest thing,” she said.

Hagen also hinted she’d created a second act especially for Brisbane audiences, keeping coy on the details but promising plenty of laughs and audience interaction.

Club Swizzle: The Spiegeltent, South Bank to September 26.

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