The Centre Court of Brisbane Powerhouse pulsed with sass, defiance and a little cheek when circus-cabaret act ‘Other Women’ made its World Premiere performance at Wonderland Festival.
Exploring female sexuality, misogyny and feminism, ‘Other Women’ made no apologies as it addressed the sexual double standards applied to women.
A medley of songs, social commentary and circus acts, the show – performed by a quartet of women – unabashedly celebrated pussy power.
Lizzie Moore - Image © Rebecca Fawcett-Smith
Led and narrated by singer, actor and cabaret performer, Lizzie Moore, the show is the perfect vehicle to showcase Lizzie’s powerhouse vocals. Backed by a three-piece band, Lizzie prowled around Centre Court, snarling and roaring her way through a selection of empowering tracks including ‘Cherry Bomb’ by The Runaways, ‘Bad Reputation’ by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and (my personal favourite) ‘Supervixen’ by Garbage.
Introducing the circus acts, aerial artiste, Eliza Dolly, performed a slow, measured aerial ribbon routine to Nina Simone’s soulful track ‘The Other Woman’. With perfectly pointed toes and a provocatively arched back, Eliza manipulated the suspended fabric expertly, however a lack of eye contact left me wanting more from the floating temptress.
Brandishing a large, heavy book, Lizzie schooled the audience on misogyny’s prevalence in popular music. Reciting lyrics such as “well I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man” (‘Run For Your Life’ by The Beatles) and “I know you want it, but you’re a good girl” (‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke), Lizzie snapped the book closed before quipping sarcastically, “It’s nice that we can sing about these things”.
Melbourne multi-disciplinary contemporary circus artist, Freyja Edney, was the most captivating of the performers, first channelling a demure, finicky 1950s housewife with impressive toe dexterity before wowing the crowd with an playful hoop act performed to ‘Fembot’ by Robyn.
Burlesque darling Rosie Peaches shook and shimmied her way around Centre Court before taking to the stage for her solo act – a slow, striptease number to Etta James’ ‘At Last’.
Rosie Peaches - Image © Rebecca Fawcett-Smith
Removing panels of her self-made hoop skirt in a tantalising, delicate dance, the panels were finally held aloft to reveal ‘Pussy Power’ emblazoned across them.
Whore. Prude. Bossy bitch. Deliberately barren. ‘Other Women’ outs these and many other stereotypes with a vengeance. The pussy, ladies and gentleman, has well and truly grabbed back.