Director: Tom Velvick
Reviewer: Sophia Moss
“You see, it’s beautiful. This is what tonight is all about!” purrs Bernie Dieter as she thrusts her crotch into an audience members face. The Little Death Club is a beautifully irreverent tribute to Weimer era dens of iniquity which celebrate the “punk, freak and weirdo in all of us”.
Bernie Dieter’s show features sexually explicit songs (Lick my pussy was a personal highlight), acrobatics, contortions, flying, fire breathing, depressed mimes and a bitingly witty drag queen. The show is accompanied by a live band which plays loud drums, upbeat tempos and softer, sadder and more reflective numbers. The audience sits in a smoky semi-circle with red and purple lighting.
Beau Sargent gives an amazingly bendy performance which is part acrobatics, part dance and part gender-bending extravaganza. He performs impressive suspensions, spins and flips from an aerial trapeze and looks fantastic in sparkly pants and gloves. Myra Dubois is hilarious during her confident interactions with the audience (“wearing flipflops to the theatre? I should review you!” she says to another reviewer in the front row) and she makes a big impression in a short period of time.
Kitty Bang Bang literally swallows fire during her act without batting an eyelid and Fancy Chance flies around the stage in mid-air in an ethereal and sexy hair hanging routine. Josh Glanc is hilarious and strangely sweet as the disillusioned mime who longs for ‘real’ things.
Audience members are brought up onto the stage, they do carry Bernie at one point and they are asked to clap, stomp and sing, but it is all done in good fun and most audience members remain unscathed.
Bernie herself has a fantastic voice, excellent stage presence and look amazing in her sparkly catsuit. Her whole persona drips with sexuality and her songs are enjoyably explicit while also being relatable and occasionally hitting on important issues. Her song (and accompanying imagery) about receiving a dick-pic on Facebook is hilarious and it’s great to see a woman being so open about her sexuality without allowing herself to be objectified. She is also flirty without being creepy: in Bernie’s world, everyone is beautiful.
The Little Death Club is not for anyone who is offended by sexually explicit material or for people who are looking for a traditional night in the theatre, but if you want to celebrate the freakier, liberated and more alcoholic side of you then head on down to Underbelly Festival and join the mayhem. It might just be the best night you have in 2019.
Runs until 29 September 2019 | Image: Alistair Veryard