New Athenaeum Theatre, 24 The Octagon, Dunedin
27/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
A Halloween Cabaret
Dunedin’s greatest and only fetish drag theatre-cabaret-fusion company is back, and this time it’s themed. You may remember us as “was that the people who did the show with the bondage? And the real heart as a prop?” The answer is, of course, yes. Yes it was. And if you’re concerned about the title, fear not: while Double Maths does feature a bucket hat, a strategically placed bottle of gin, a baseball bat and a large quantity of fake blood, there will be minimal actual mathematics.
Double Maths takes us on a journey to Dunedin Central High School, where Andrew Woolf is trying everything he can think of to distract his class so he doesn’t have to teach Maths. Who better to call in than the Sacrilege team, complete with Halloween costumes? Cue an acerbic drag queen, a wide-eyed magician/ palaeontologist, a scruffy punk, a drag king dressed as Fred Dagg and some dancers wildly unsuited for a school environment. They even brought their own tarp.
Sacrilege is a company dedicated to bringing high quality comedy and cabaret to Dunedin, with a particular focus on breaking norms and providing a platform for performers marginalised by mainstream drag and burlesque culture.
“I think it really captures a lot about who I was as a teenager: the pain, the confusion, the sexual discovery, the pain, the heartbreak, the pain…”
New Athenaeum Theatre, 23 The Octagon, Dunedin Central
27, 28, 31 October 2017
All shows 8pm
Tickets at the door or from dashtickets.co.nz.
R16. Contains nudity and sexual themes.
Andrew Brinsley-Pirie, Allyn Robins, Jasper Ririnui, Harry Biggs, Jackson Treece, Emma Loader, Kerry Lane, Tyler Neumann, Hahna Briggs, Jenny Newstead
Lani Swann, Martin Swann
Theatre , Cabaret ,
Light hearted and comedic with moments of beauty and profundity
Review by Paul Ellicott 02nd Nov 2017
It is a balmy Halloween eve and Sacrilege Productions are turning it on with their latest offering, Double Maths. Billed as Dunedin’s greatest (and only) fetish and drag Cabaret Company, Sacrilege showcase the talents of a diverse and ever-changing ensemble of performers, especially focussed on those marginalised by mainstream drag and burlesque culture.
This evening we take a trip to Dunedin Central High School, where relieving teacher Dr Andrew Woolf is trying everything he can think of to distract his class (us) to avoid teaching Maths, and live down his hangover. Cue the motley Sacrilege crew of drag and burlesque artists, dancers, musicians and bondage buffs. Did I mention they do children’s birthday parties?
The action careens between the smutty, side-splitting, sensual and very occasionally, serious. Imperialist War Mongering Bingo anyone? Or perhaps a naughty ‘roll-call’ followed by a strip tease? Anus, Ass Bandit and Anyprick, sitting down the back of the class, all look enthused.
This is the third Sacrilege show I have seen, and I notice the characters and performances grow with each outing. The overall mood of the show is light hearted and comedic, although Double Maths also contains some moments of beauty and profundity. The characters are eclectic and complementary, the writing smart.
Jake Hammer (Jasper Ririnui) is quick to charm, encouraging class participation with archetypal bloke-ish persona and Kiwiana sing-a-longs, while hinting at greater depths of cultural and social awareness. Miss Sadie Salom (Jackson Treece) and Rooster Arrow (Kerry Lane) show strong characterisation in their gender fluid roles, while Magnificus Rex (Allyn Robins) and Pixie (Emma Loader) each bring lively energy and charisma.
Dr Andrew Woolf (Andrew Brinsley-Pirie) and Dirtier Harry (Harry Biggs) again provide raunchy laughs (and eye candy) but also establish a nice chemistry between the two of them which goes beyond merely playing up. The Accompanist (Tyler Neumann) is a standout behind the piano, his escape from the trunk of Miss Sadie’s car, garbed with gold speedo, an absolute boon to the show.
However the highlight of the evening for me is the performance of the Trick or Treaters (Hanha Briggs and Jenny Newstead from GASP! dance collective), who are full of conviction in a mesmerising dance performance which sees them twist together and move with walking sticks; intense, broken, beautiful …
At least they are from what I can see of them; unfortunately a fair bit of the action from Double Maths which takes place lower to the ground is missed due to an already obstructed view, further amplified by the voluminous Halloween costumes of my fellow class mates. Management at The New Athenaeum Theatre tell me they plan to fundraise for and obtain tiered seating in the near future, which will be a welcome addition to a venue which has already undergone drastic improvements of late. But in the meantime performers would be well advised to factor in the visibility issue and adjust accordingly, to ensure there are enough treats to share with the whole class.
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