Step Up Darlings, It’s Ten-In-One!

BATS Theatre, Wellington

20/02/2008 - 23/02/2008

NZ Fringe Festival 2008

Production Details


Roll up, Roll up! You’ve seen it on TV now see it in the flesh!
One ticket, One tent, 10 mind boggling acts, 4 nights only!

SIDESHOW BURLESQUE as only Nana would remember it. 3 beauties, Gypsies if you will, perform their greatest oddities from a time long forgotten, live at BATS from the hour of 8, Wednesday the 20th to Saturday the 23rd of February for Fringe 2008.

From the early days of circus when a tiny tent full of midgets, bearded ladies and men made of steel were not such a strange sight at the local fair ground. "Ten-In-One" is the original title given to the most famous art of sideshow. One ticket, one tent ….10 acts! Not just any 10 acts, they were overflowing with FREAKS! 10 amazing wonders to the eye.

Now Step Up Darlings, It’s Ten-In-One!, step back in time and into the original side show with The Magenta Diamond, Eva Strangelove and Miss Strawberry Siren. No bearded ladies, these exotic beauties bring you seductive feathers, hypnotic hula hoops, twirling nipple tassels and a nail to the nose. 

With over 50 years and international experience between them, but not a wrinkle to be seen, these professional performers bring the age-old sideshow back to life.  "That hula hoop act should get a special Award all of its own – deserves a gold medal!" (Helen Clark-NZ Prime Minister)

Step back with us, just for a moment you will be most pleasurably surprised! 4 nights only, live at BATS, for Fringe 2008, Step Up Darlings, It’s Ten-In-One! Book now at BATS 8024175 or 

20 – 23 February 2008
BATS Theatre
(04) 802 4175


The Magenta Diamond - Tanya Drewery
Eva Strangelove - Eva. S McMahon
Miss Strawberry Siren - Nyree Camden

Hicktor Mulle't - Shannon Drewery  
El Diablo - Logan Jeffs (Intro & singer)
The Eternal Burn (Band)
Ross Walker, Ben King & Tristan

Stage manager - Shannon Drewery
Light & Sound operator - Shane 'Forge' Hickman
Follow spot operator - Laura Drew
Rigging Logistics - Tom Beauchamp
Poster and program art work - Simon Morse
Poster and program design - Shane 'Forge' Hickman
Poster, program and flyer printing - Pixel Media Ltd

50 min, no interval

Flair and guts

Review by Lynn Freeman 06th Mar 2008

Step up Darlings is….well it’s… can I best describe it….the three women… see they….  OK, it’s not that baffling but it is different, in your face and hard to sum up.

It’s a striptease circus/freak show – nails hammered up noses, trapeze, erotic semi-naked dancing, contortions, fire eating, you get the picture.  Well, perhaps it becomes a little clearer you hear bout the nipple tassels? 

It’s not just a night out for the boys, though they were clearly and vocally appreciative.  It wasn’t shocking despite trying very hard to be.  It takes a lot to shock someone who’s just watch oral sex in a public toilet cubicle (see Engaged review). 

Tanya Drewery, Eva S. McMahon and Nyree Camden are supple (if not subtle) performers, who are without question born to perform.  None of what they do is particularly new but the way they’ve brought it together shows flair and guts.


Make a comment

A feast of skills

Review by John Smythe 21st Feb 2008

Billed as "Sideshow Burlesque as only Nana would remember it", Step Up Darlings, it’s ten-in-one exhumes ancient acts of exotica for our amazed delectation – except if you’ve happened across them in Heavenly Burlesque shows or on Queens Wharf or as part of various festive occasions, not all of it will be new, except the intimacy of BATS does give thei acts a different feel.

And The Magenta Diamond (Tanya Drewery), Eva Strangelove (Eva. S McMahon) and Miss Strawberry Siren (Nyree Camden) have certainly polished up their acts.

Whip cracking, a sexy feather fan dance, a nose impaled with nails and skewers, aerial hoop contortions and gyrations, a colourful jelly-fish-cum-beach-bather-tent sequence, a stupendous balancing act, a nasty dance sequence with a dummy, a bloody encounter with a chicken and a spectacular hula-hoop finale Morocco-style … It’s a feast of skills. 

Sometimes the dance interludes get a bit aimless and repetitive but that might be part of the strategy, to make the truly skilled bits look even better. And when this gets done in an intimate theatre, I can’t help wondering how it might develop with more defined and complex characters and inter-relationships that tell something of a story as the show progresses.

The sound levels were way out of wack on opening night, obliterating such popular standards as ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s best Friend’.  Logan Jeffs does a good job of introducing the shows as El Diablo and his singing sequence is fine but the final bit where he tries to introduce the cast, crew (Shannon Drewery ) and band (Ross Walker, Ben King & Tristan) was drowned by amplified noise.

They got through with a hugely supportive audience on opening, some of the problems are easily fixed and I’d like to think they’ll keep on developing in ways that will make them a must-see on the Fringe and civic festival circuits.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council