Sammy's Entertainment Venue, Dunedin

22/03/2012 - 24/03/2012

Dunedin Fringe 2012

Production Details


Theatrical Burlesque Show as part of the Dunedin Fringe Festival 2012

An exciting new show fromChristchurch’s premiere burlesque troupe “Ayla’s Angels Burlesque Circus!” with a quirky, theatrical parody of a childhood musical. An eccentric, wonderful adventure into the surreal world of Couture Candylands…New-age Circus bursting with delectable tongue-in cheek treats! ..definitely a visual feast not to miss…

The cast of Ayla’s Angels Burlesque Circus consists of delicious dancers, acrobats, comedians, musicians, aerial artists, fire and circus performers with a wide range of talent. Bringing you unique entertainment experiences that promise to delight the senses with intimate on-stage performances.

A vibrant collection of NZ beauties, to mesmerize & captivate you through the art of Burlesque with a focus on new circus, comedy and theatre. From feathers & tassels to bubbles & giant candy..To Wonderland and back again…

Performing regularly in Christchurch since their March 2009 debut at Dunedin Orientation, The Angels now have a popular Academy teaching Burlesque, Chorus line and Aerial arts and (as well as hosting amateur nights, burlesque competitions and student graduations) run fortnightly or monthly Vaudeville-style Cabaret nights. Using local and international guests performers and MCs, their regular showcases incorporate traditional burlesque, modern style neo-burlesque, ‘boy’lesque, vaudeville, live music, comedy and new-age circus… “Le Burlesque Cirque”.

The Angels also travel with their own crew.. the gorgeous “Cupcake Queens”.. occasionally wielding colourful trays of scrumptious cakes, treats and merchandise.. and are often seen atChristchurch’s corporate events, fundraisers, balls, hen’s nights, music or dance events and private functions.

Since the earthquakes started in 2010, The troupe’s popularity has grown immensely asChristchurch’s audiences felt the need to laugh away their worries, and with limited venues left available the Angels have been creative; travelling throughout the suburbs, nationally and internationally as new venues are built and repairs made. The Angels look forward to returning toDunedin, the place where they began, to debut their bright and scrumptiously cheeky new show!..

Where: Sammy’s, Dunedin
When: March Thurs 22nd, Friday 23rd, & Saturday 24th 2012 from 8pm
Price: $18/$15 (conc) via  

Fab warm-up to disaster

Review by Jennifer Aitken 23rd Mar 2012

Ayla’s Angels Burlesque Circus is a company whose Facebook page proclaims them to be “Christchurch’s Premiere Burlesque Troupe.” Tonight marks the premiere of their latest show Milly Wonka and the Burlesque Factory “a quirky, theatrical parody of a childhood musical. An eccentric, wonderful adventure into the surreal world of Couture Candylands.”

Unfortunately a couple of things have plagued this premiere long before it has even begun. The cast and crew’s journey down from Christchurch last night took much longer than expected when their van broke down and there was a bit of a mix up between performers and marketing as to what time the show would actually begin.

Dunedin’s own Peachy Keen Girls are the warm-up act to Milly Wonka and they are fabulous. Their sultry routine is the perfect warm-up to what I have been lead to believe is going to be an exciting evening of Wonka themed burlesque.

What happens once the Peachy Keen Girls leave the stage can be described as nothing less than disastrous. Louise Kerr, as Wonka, walks onto stage, professing that she is heavily intoxicated – and this sets the tone for the rest of the show. Kerr is wearing a wireless mic and her rambling mumbles become completely indecipherable within minutes.

What is ultimately disappointing is the company’s inability to make the most of the Wonka theme. The show contains very few similarities to the original and doesn’t even include the character of Charlie Bucket. Where the performers do try to invoke the book/film they rely too heavily on the audience’s prior knowledge and consequently these few references are lost on many.

In between the telling of the so-called Wonka narrative four dancers enter the stage, move bits and pieces of the set and perform a little-number, usually with very little relevance to the theme of the production – the Pink Panther dance being a particular head-scratcher.  I think the guy behind me sums it up best when he exclaims that the performers “can’t even walk in time,” an essential skill when it comes to performing burlesque.

I do believe that this troupe is capable of much better things under different circumstances. I feel for the performers and the band as they exchange concerned expressions and mutterings over the train-wreck that is Kerr. I do appreciate their decision to go on, but for many reasons I feel like it would have been a better decision not to. I am genuinely alarmed for Kerr’s safety throughout the show and this is all justified as we witness her take a fall while trying to run up the stairs at the front of the stage.

In the end Milly Wonka and the Burlesque factory does not live up to the hype. I really do think with more rehearsal and a little more tweaking this show has the potential to be something really fabulous.  


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