Walking into the A Club for Velvet Chase Productions Gorelesque the packed house were confronted with plastic lined walls reminiscent of a scene from a 1980s splatter film. This could only mean one thing … blood and gore galore!

In a prelude to the acts that would soon follow, the audience were greeted with a premier viewing of a short film entitled Gorelesque Uncensored 2018, which with its intense necrophilic influences laid bare the intentions of the evening’s forthcoming entertainment.

What followed was a series of 7-8 acts, which as the name of the production suggests infused gore and burlesque, incorporating razorblade swallowing, skin piercing, blood dripping, religious icon de-robing, fire eating, rat infesting, flesh-eating frivolities.

With a revolving door of artists and acts planned for the duration of the Fringe, it appears that Goreleque will be a production set to vary from night to night. On this evening we were treated to a range of acts including local, interstate and overseas acts with a vast array of influences and inspiration.

Acts ranged from a 1950s Stepford wife turned bunny boiler who dismembered and boiled bodies as part of her daily routine, thru to a nightmare-inspiring yet emotive tale of a white rabbit-like mythical being. Interspace this with some circus-like contortion and some skin piercing staple gun action and you get the idea of what you’re likely in for with an evening at Gorlesque.

One of the biggest crowd reactions was reserved for The Darlings who were announced as simply a “group of friends with a common love of burlesque” and this performance was the result. Ok… their choreography and timing many not have been as fine-tuned or shock factor filled as some of the more seasoned performers, …but it was a glorious demonstration that this was a genre of artistry open to anyone and everyone with a passion for it.

The highlight of the evening was New Zealand performer Nocturness whose depiction of a possessed / demonic nun had the audience in a trance like state. Words cannot possibly do the performance justice, it’s one of those that needs to be seen to be experienced. Unfortunately I believe that it was her final appearance at this Fringe, with alternate international artists to feature in future performances.

…and returning focus to those plastic lined walls? If I had to pinpoint one disappointment from the evenings proceedings – it was them. Unfortunately they remained untarnished and unsplattered for the entire show, with the gore being rather splatter free or often appearing to be an afterthought to some of the acts.

One final tip for those thinking of attending during the Fringe, get there early to get a good position as once the first 4-5 tables up the front fill up, everyone else spends a lot of the evening dodging heads, chairs and pillars in order to get a view of the acts due to the rather low stage.

Three & A Half Stars

Fringe Review by Lindsay Bulach

For more info and tickets to Gorelesque at the Adelaide Fringe head to https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/gorelesque-af2018