The Dark Room, Cnr Pitt and Church Street, Palmerston North

15/09/2016 - 17/09/2016

BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

07/02/2018 - 10/02/2018

Production Details

Starring the glamorous boylesque crooner, cunning conjurer and professional show-off Mr Lola Illusion, Lola’s Grave Mistake is a macabre show of woe that is dead funny.

Finding himself trapped in the purgatory of a broken heart, Mr Lola Illusion entertains with a hilarious cabaret that sends him on an adventure to heaven and hell.

Can Lola save his soul and bury his troubles away? Or will he be doomed to a life in eternal damnation never to return from his grave mistake?

Palmerston North
15th 16th 17th September 2016
Tickets $25.00
Bookings 06 354 5740  

BATS Heyday Dome
7 – 10 February 2018

Theatre , Cabaret ,

1 hr

Delights and provokes

Review by Margaret Austin 08th Feb 2018

If you haven’t seen Mr Lola Illusion on stage before, you may be in for a surprise – even a shock. At the Heyday Dome at Bats Theatre, on to a stage featuring a coffin, on the opening night of Lola’s Grave Mistake, Illusion enters.

Now, here is a man. Very much a man, according to this reviewer. He’s not tall, and couldn’t be described by an epithet as uncouth as ‘well built’. He’s got fabulous thighs – and they’re spliced halfway up by stocking tops.  He’s wearing a black dinner jacket and a bow tie – both suggestive of masculinity. Yet the rest of him is pure show girl. I won’t go into details.

Lola’s Grave Mistake is billed as a boylesque show. Avowedly an offshoot of the longer established burlesque, there’s nothing to apologise for here. All’s fair in love and on stage.

“I’m not thinking straight now,” Lola informs us. We’ve already picked up on this, and our sympathies are engaged by this double entendre. Lola’s is a story we can all relate to. His heart has been broken – it’s purgatory – and he proceeds to tell us why.

The story is largely told in song – a witty retake in many cases. Illusion uses a hand held microphone, and backing sound. It’s technically seamless.

This reviewer is not sure who is responsible for staging Lola. I suspect it’s him – in which case, an uncannily sure sense of himself, his audience, and his effect on them combine to create a theatrical experience that both delights and provokes.   

To say that Lola is an original is an understatement. S/He has never been seen before – unless you saw The Lola Show last year at BATS or either show earlier in Palmerston North. And Lola may never be seen again – unless you hasten to the Heyday Dome at Bats Theatre some time soon. 


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Sympathy, magic and laughs

Review by Alexandra Bellad-Ellis 16th Sep 2016

At the beginning of the show we find that Mr Lola Illusion, boylesque crooner and magic maker, has made a grave mistake. He has had his heart broken and has found himself in purgatory. We go with him on an adventure to hell and back, finding out how he got here, and how he’s going to get out.

While the show is made up mostly of songs with little dialogue the storyline is easy to follow. The singing is great, with plenty of personality. Throughout the show the audience feels like they are talking to a friend rather than watching a performance. After all most of us can sympathize with the depression that comes with the ending of a relationship.

There is also a little bit of magic, and a whole lot of laughs. The set is simple. A large moon hangs over the stage, giving the feel of night time in the desert. This feeling is helped by some scattered bones, two coffins and three sequined cacti. Throughout the show the lighting changes take the audience through the different places featured in the story. The music is mostly upbeat, with songs that most of the audience will recognize.

Lola’s Grave Mistake is on at The Dark Room for two more shows only on Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th of September. After which the show will feature for two nights at the Wellington Fringe Bar. The tickets are $25 and the show runs about an hour.


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