The Trip

The Trip
Arts Centre Melbourne and Base Berlin. The Spielgeltent, Arts Centre Melbourne forecourt. 12th February – 3rd March, 2013

You’ve got to wonder. If this is what they get up to at work, what happens when these artists let-their-hair-down!

The Trip is a seductively raunchy affair leaning heavily on in-your-face irreverence. For just over an hour acrobatics, contortionists, drag queens, comic songsters and audience fraternise in an expertly paced performance punctuated by gasps, groans, squeals and laughs.

The languidly liquid limbs of boylesque artist and contortionist David Pereira manipulate themselves in and out of some tight spots, and elastic-girl Marjorie Nantal thrills with antics on a shopping trolley, and later twisting above ground in hung fabric. Stiletto heels are no obstacle for hoop-girl Martine Howard, who makes her contribution without fanfare.

Ethiopian juggler Girma Tsehai mesmerises by his manipulation of rubber spheres on angled perspex, and Polish La Clique stars, The Caesar Twins, build dramatic tension using penetrating eye-contact with the audience, and take like ducks to water in the slippery fishbowl routine. Note to self: wear galoshes next time.

New York drag doll Baby Jane, is entertaining singing Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, but other contributions were lost on me. Piano singer and MC Jack Woodhead is all feathers and frivolity, and invariably introduces risqué subjects with sexual overtones (don’t bring the children), which include Monty Python’s Penis Song.

In this venue the audience is packed in uncomfortably tightly (hey - we are not contortionists, only mere mortals). And while we are reach-out-and-touch close to the action, the density coupled with a lack of audience risers seriously limits visibility and is the single largest disappointment.

That said, this is a special show and should ensure the holiday glow of Melbourne’s extraordinary summer continues a while yet. Enter boldly people, and leave your prudish self at the door.

Lucy Graham.

Image: David Pereira.

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