It's a trap!
Actually, it's 'The Booby Trap!' – a taut, sexual cabaret where world-class drag queens and burlesque artists flip the script and perform each others styles.
Audiences are in for a night of wild, gender-bending entertainment that doesn't just cross the line, it smashes it to pieces then does a sexy dance on its grave.
And who set this trap of forbidden desire? None other than Perth cabaret queen, Kelly Witham-Cook. Here, we catch up with Kelly to get a firm grasp on 'The Booby Trap'.
Tell us about your show 'The Booby Trap!' and what audiences can expect?
'The Booby Trap!' is a showcase of the very best of drag and burlesque talent. This season we have a mixed local, interstate and international cast. Performers will perform one act in their signature style and then 'flip the script' and challenge themselves to perform the other. You'll see drag queens' burlesque interpretations and burlesque artists' drag interpretations, and drag and burlesque takes on so many more forms than the traditional lip syncs and strip teases most would expect.
What makes 'The Booby Trap!' unique to other drag and burlesque shows?
Audiences are wondering if this drag queen performing burlesque is one of the men pretending to be a woman pretending to be a real woman... Or if this drag queen is a woman pretending to be man pretending to be a woman... They come to the realisation that they don't care. They are entertained and begin to enjoy the show regardless of who is in which box. It takes gender out of the performance styles and lets artists create with less boundaries.
What style of cabaret is the show?
We are traditional cabaret with modern ideas. Each unique act is the artist's own creation and the night is held together by our witty and beautiful host Veronica Jean Jones.
Who are some of the performers in 'The Booby Trap!'?
Each night we have a brand new cast so if you love the show you can come back for more. Scarlet Adams is a Perth drag queen who last year broke new ground by winning 'Miss Burlesque Australia', as our headliner she will be featured each night of the show run surrounded by a rotating line up of the very best Australian and international performers. UK cabaret royalty Aurora Galore features Opening and Closing Night, from NYC we have burlesque powerhouse Jezebelle Express Tues-Fri, Avant Garde Drag artist Ginava, Essie Foxglove and Memphis Mae from Sydney will be joining us, just to name a few.
As curator, what do you look for in performers?
In my shows I look for artists that are progressive, unique, highly creative, beautiful act aesthetics and of a very high performance quality.
Why do you think cabaret has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity of late?
I'm not truly sure, but I hope it's because the general public is looking for more authentic experiences that only live performances can bring, sharing moments that are happening with you and because of your presence. Seeing what is happening with artists in your local area connects us, artists are inspired by global influences but each area of the world has its own special culture and flavour.
What attracts you as a creative to the world of cabaret?
I've always created, since I was very little. I remember creating 'productions' with neighbourhood kids in my backyard that we would show our parents. For me the attraction is putting on a character where I can actually explore different aspects of my real self, but in a more visual way, in a larger way, in a way that would be strange in real life but perfectly acceptable in your character form.
Rules/tips for cabaret first-timers?
New audience members, understand that its not TV. We can see you, and we are there to make you happy, so let loose, make noise, interact, it's okay to have a good time... It's what we go to fringe for.
What other shows/projects are you working on in the coming year?
We are in the process of finding a great bar space where we can hold a monthly cabaret... So if you know a great space that will allow us to do fire acts, burlesque and aerial acts for 100 plus patrons, do get in touch. We'll bring the audience!
'The Booby Trap!' plays Main Room at Connections Nightclub on 11-16 February.