Babushka: Doll @ Wonderland Festival Review

  • Written by  Elodie Boal
  • Friday, 25 November 2016 12:21
Published in Arts News  
|   Tagged under   
Breaking down the plastic box and inviting us into their dream house, ‘Babushka: Doll’ is set to be the latest cabaret craze on our creative arts market.

Performing at the Brisbane Powerhouse for four shows only, this night of glitz, glamour and glitter is sure to take you on a naughty trip down memory lane.

Using the dolls of our childhood as metaphors for life, the trio (Judy Hainsworth, Alicia Cush and Bethan Ellsmore) perform to a jam-packed audience and have patrons roaring in fits of laughter on opening night.

With vocal stylings out of this world, the girls of Babushka perform everything from Garbage to Guns N Roses, with operatic ballads in between. Debuting originally at the Judith Wright Centre of Performing Arts in 2015, the show is back again, dishing the dirt on all the secrets our beloved dolls failed to mention to us when we were younger.

Babushka Live2

‘Doll’ is far from its PG exterior. It explores Barbie and Ken’s risqué romance, the partying ways of Bethan doll, the struggling parental faux pas of Alicia doll and Judy doll's quest for the ultimate man that will fit in her box.

Babushka, accompanied on piano by David Law, makes a unified collective, but each girl brings her own twist to the group.

Alicia is poised and experienced; Bethan is simply artistic in her vocal abilities; and Judy mesmerises the stage with her encompassing physical acting. Each girl dons her own instrument as well, including xylophones, baby piano, electric violin and accordion.

Their highly trained vocals round out this musical medley.

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It’s 'Pitch Perfect' mixed with Amanda Palmer, topped with Kate Bush and a bit of extra sass sprinkled on top. It’s also inspiring to watch highly trained professionals do what they do best, taking music from different eras and modernising it in a way that relates to the plastic world.

The most important element of this show is the unraveling of societal expectations, as the trio shatters stereotypes to deliver a solid message from your dolly’s eyes. Not only do they absorb Barbie’s message that if you can dream it, you can do it, but they also proclaim that you don’t have to live up to the plastic standards of beauty while ‘doing it’.

This show is a great night out for the girls... It’s quirky, fun and a down right crack-up. But don’t worry, men are definitely welcome. There are plenty of chats about Ken and his past, as well as an adult-only sex doll session - guaranteed to spark some memories (even some private ones). One note though, batteries are not included.

‘Babushka: Doll’ performs at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of Wonderland Festival until 27 November.

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