Gorelesque @ Masonic – Phoenix Room At Gluttony, Adelaide 16/2/2019

Returning to the Adelaide Fringe in 2019, Gorelesque promises to deliver exactly as the name suggests – devilish doses of gore infused burlesque. In a new location amidst the hustle and bustle of the Fringe, everything about the show this year at the Masonic Hall is bigger – bigger stage, bigger production and most importantly increased volumes of devilish yet delectable blood.

A ticket to Gorelesque gives you a journey into the deliciously depraved minds of half a dozen performers, which according to organisers will change regularly throughout the duration of the Fringe. On this particular evening the host was the fantastically eclectic dry-witted performer Laurie Black direct off the plane from the UK. Great choice I must say, and definitely sparked quite a bit of interest in regards to her own show which I’m sure many are now likely to check out later in the festival.

Opening the show was SA’s own Saskia De Muir who’s infectious joy in dismembering and devouring a corpse saw the front couple of rows literally splattered with blood.  If there was ever going to be anyone who could make observing such a sacrifice an enjoyable experience, Saskia is the one. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that she made it look TOO enjoyable. Is that normal?

The organiser of the whole Gorelesque production, and also a performer in the event, Velvet Chase followed with the first of her 2 performances with an emotionally charged depiction of a tortured soul. What starts off as a delicate investigation of a flower quickly evolves into a large knife being plunged into one’s own body with damning, mind challenging, but spectacular results.

Velvet Chase’s second performance, one depicting an undying twisted love (even into death), ends with her being showered head-to-toe in blood, before bathing in and ceremonially consuming the life-giving elixir. We were warned the blood and gore was raised to the next level this year, and they have certainly delivered on that promise.

In her second of only three nights performing at this years Fringe, New Zealand’s Nocturness provided audience with two spellbinding performances during the evening. The first was a representation of a seriously demonic, blood-curdling, nightmare-inducing creature that could only have been dragged from the depths of despair in the back corner of a troubled mind. Its stuff only the best horror movies are made of and Nocturness pulls it off to perfection live onstage in her own one-person production. 

Nocturness’ final act, and closing performance for the evening, was the act which was undoubtedly the highlight for me in last years production… the White Rabbit. It’s emotional, it’s suffocating and it draws you in. Can I explain it…no. Do you need to see it… yes. It’s a shame Nocturness is only here for a brief period of time this Fringe, but I’m sure with the audience reaction she will definitely be back.

Gorelesque delivered exactly what it promised – Burlesque bathed in blood, and plenty of it. With a program that will be evolving over the duration of the Fringe it’s also a show that you can visit on more than 1 occasion and see a completely different line up of performances and performers.  It’s sexy but shocking, its horror but humorous. It’s Gorelesque – check it out!

Fringe Review By Lindsay Bulach

For tickets, show dates and times to Gorelesque head to Fringe-Tix.

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