Between the Sheets at the Underbelly Festival
Written by: Claire Holly Davies
Holy smoke, her nipples are on fire! Somebody pass the woman an extinguisher.
Wait, why is she climbing into that giant margarita glass – does she not know it’s highly flammable? She’s going to need to be doused with a sizable portion of aloe vera gel at this rate, the poor lamb. This was the crux of my night watching Miss Polly Rae, a burlesque bunny who bares an uncanny resemblance to a certain Miss Jessica Rabbit, and her motley crew of circus performing, fire breathing, snake hipped dancers.
Before you start furiously Googling burn remedies, please be reassured that no animals, small children or indeed nipples were harmed during the making of this show. In fact, the only imminent risk I could detect throughout the performance was the persistent threat of the slightly nervous, yet quietly ecstatic, men on the front row veering dangerously close to a sudden cardiac arrest.
It was one of those shows that I was really pleased I didn’t take my parents to. However, the friend who was lucky enough to win the great honour of being my plus one looked immensely pleased with himself all night. Apparently, it was one of his life long ambitions to see a woman set fire to her own nipple tassels (the sadist). The best bit about the show, however, is that it’s both hilariously funny and surprisingly warmhearted. Yes, sex features quite heavily throughout, albeit not lewdly. It’s provocative nature is interspersed with an exploration of love, friendship and togetherness, inviting the audience in to connect with the larger-than-life characters on stage before them.
Housed in the festival’s spiegeltent, the air was prickly with the heat of the sizable (in number, you pervert) and slightly randy audience. The atmosphere of what was essentially a large, dimly lit dome, lent itself to the stage performance, transporting you into their strange yet charming world. Polly Rae whispers into your ear, implores you to stare and welcomes you into her bosom (just mind your eyebrows, else they may get singed).
I’ll not ruin the suspense by revealing much more, other than to implore you to see the last performance of Between The Sheets at the Underbelly Festival on the 29th September. More information here: http://www.underbellyfestival.com/whats-on/miss-polly-rae
Photos courtesy of Between The Sheets.
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