The Fierceness

Downstage Theatre, Wellington

05/08/2010 - 07/08/2010

Production Details

The Real Hot Bitches are back with a vengeance to perform The Fierceness – our most ambitious show ever. Last year we didn’t do a show as 4 of us were having babies and lets face it lycra leaves you nowhere to hide!

For three nights only on the 5, 6, 7 of August at 8pm at Downstage The Fierceness, will light up a gloomy Wellington winter.

Cynthia Sachet is about to choose the chorus line for “The Fierceness” her next off off, way off Broadway Hit Dance Spectacular.

Before her stand a group of desperate dancers who’ll do anything for a chance at the semi-big time- there’s ‘lone wolf’ Bobby Carlisle, country bumpkin Loretta, ice princess Gloria, a set of formerly co-joined twins and mysterious drifter Carly.

Who will make the cut? Who can tame the egos? Who can resist a late winter shot of prime 80’s pop, a story-line that puts Dynasty to shame, and the pouting, powerful passion of Wellington’s own Real Hot Bitch Dance Troupe? Not you.

“The Fierceness will feature 30 sizzling hot dancers, 12 new-to-the-public blistering hot synchronised-dance-routines, incredible costumes and a fierce attitude” says Rosie Roberts Co founder of the RHB and director of The Fierceness.
“I wrote the Fierceness to showcase the overflowing talents of the Troupe,” says writer Gabe McDonnell. 
“With one pregnant bitch, five bitchin mothers, three boy bitches, two teaching bitches and a host of professional bitches; getting this show from the studio to the stage is one bitchin undertaking. Luckily we are seasoned performers with three hit shows under our dance belts,” says Angela Meyer RHB co founder.
“Once the lycra is on the inner bitch emerges and in walk hit semi-professional dance stars waiting to shine!” Say Angela.
The stage may have got bigger…but the talent remains the same.

Downstage Theatre
5 Aug – 7 Aug

Book at our box office, phone
04 801 6946.

Performance Times
Thursday – Saturday 8pm

90 Min no interval

Full Price: $25
Members, Students or groups 20+: $20   


Cynthia Sachet           Candy le Coque
Geraldine                    PopTart
Sheena                       Cyndi Lamas-Arquette
Tina                            Trixie Boom
Bobby Carlisle            Lee-Roy Swayze
Stage Mum                 Debrelle van Haler
Loretta                        Pearl Lusta
Carly                           Gem Wilder
Gloria                          Mercedes D’Silhouette
Male Stripper              Rex Carlisle

Bonnie Tyler               MaXine HendriX
Choir                          Cherry Ripe, Desaree Knightshade, MaXine HendriX, Randi Knights, Sasha Hot Sauce, Tiffney Jovi-Harket

Auditionees                 Tiffney Jovi-Harket, Coco la Chanelle, Diamantina, CJ Luvtodanz
Surgeon                      Desaree Knightshade
Rock wife                    Mystique
Strippers                     Bonnie Lee, Je’mappelle Jeff
Lady Gaga                  Hellsta Murgatroyd
Gaga back-ups           Bambi du Bois, Debrelle van Haler
Flashdancers             Cherry Ripe, Hellsta Murgatroyd, Megatron
Air Guitarist                 Randi Knights

Bambi du Bois, Bonnie Lee, Cherry Ripe, CJ Luvtodanz, Coco la Chanelle, Debrelle van Haler, Desaree Knightshade, Diamantina, Hellsta Murgatroyd, Je’mappelle Jeff, MaXine HendriX, Megatron, Mystique, Randi Knights, Rex Carlisle, Rockit, Sasha Hot Sauce, Tiffney Jovi-Harket, Zontelle Pompom 


Production Manager            Rosie Roberts
Production Assistance        Jane Chewings
Fundraising Coordinators    Chrisana Archer, Zelda Edwards (aka Cher Mycock), Bonnie Lee, Naiomi Murgatroyd, Angela Meyer

Costume Design               Gemma Browne, Jo Mason, Vanessa Smith, Jane Chewings
Costume Wranglers         Gemma Browne, Jo Mason
Costume Realisation        Samantha Bell, Lisa Doherty, Harriet Demby, Michelle Bland, Cara-Louise Waretini, Marly Doyle, Brighde Penn
Lighting Design                 Jennifer Lal
Technical Operation         Fya-kat
Stage Manager / Props    Theresa Hanaray
Sound Editing                    Thomas Johnson

Graphic Design                  Vanessa Smith
Publicity                              Angela Meyer
Photography                      Cameron Smith

Choreography                    Desiree Knightshade, Rockit, Hellsta Murgatroyd, Sasha Hot Sauce, Mystique, Cyndi Lamas-Arquette, Bonnie Lee, Candy le Coque, Je’mappelle Jeff, Tiffney Jovi-Harket 

Ugly unitard appeal

Review by Deirdre Tarrant 11th Aug 2010

This was so appalling it was actually appealing.

A partisan audience greeted friends in the cast by name with cat calls and encouragement. Onstage The Real Hot Bitches (27 including three men who were arguably the better movers and certainly in better trim than most of the ladies) grind their way through repetitive routines in search of the dream to be “semi-professional”.

Casting is under the fierce eye of Cynthia Sachet (I was the hottest dancer alive, then…?). Loud music (not credited),loud costumes, loud voices and a script inspired by Chorus Line that was, of course, not clever nor catchy but had appal/appeal.

But there wasa script, a structure, clear direction by Gabe McDonnell and Rosie Roberts and a context as six of the dancers were recalled to go through their audition paces.

Ultimately there was a Cinderella moment as Geraldine shed her classic beige and formed a break away company wearing the ugliest unitard imaginable.

Imagination was not required. Provocative and gyrating in their gladiatorial g-strings, this troupe is enough to put you off dancing.

The skill base was minimal but enthusiastic and there were some truism moments from Gloria (the ballerina) and Loretta the “rural”.

Not for the fainthearted but definitely a sequinned step up in tinselled tackiness from the last RHB show I saw.

Cynthia had the final say: “you’ll not make friends in this business – not if you’re any good”. The Real Hot Bitches certainly have friends. Downstage has opened its artistic arms to a new genre.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


Make a comment

Troupe is full of bad taste and proud of it

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 09th Aug 2010

[Note: this DomPost review incorrectly calls the real Hot Bitches the Red Hot Bitches, but given that is what was published, I’ll leave the mistake here – ED]

What must be one of the worst semi-professional dance troupes is currently performing their show The Fierceness at Downstage. 

But then bad taste is the hallmark of the Red Hot Bitches Dance Troupe and in this their latest show they exemplify how bad can be good. Ms Cynthia Sachet – Candy Le Coque – has assembly a motley lot of dances on stage to audition for her new show The Fierceness

Twenty plus women and three guys, although at times it is hard to tell who is female and who male, strut their stuff through the opening number. From this six are selected and in similar vein to that popular Broadway Show A Chorus Line, each then has to answer one of Ms Sachet’s probing in-depth questions and dance a solo. 

There is Sheena and Tina, co-joint identical twins who were surgically separated as four year olds, the “lone wolf” Bobby Carlisle, the country gal Loretta, the kleptomaniac Carly, who “doesn’t speak rural”, and the ice maiden Gloria.  

Fortunately the inane dialogue of each is short before each lets rip with their solo, a chart topping song from the eighties appropriate to each character. The high point of the show is the finale when Geraldine, Ms Sachet’s secretary, throws off her overalls, and shows them all how it’s done.

With each solo they are joined by the whole company in what can only be described as over-the-top, highly energetic, to the point of manic, dance routines. 

No doubt most of those on stage are seasoned performers – the publicity says “ they all have track records longer than a drag race along Lower Hutt’s main road” – as to perform as badly as they do in this show they have to be good. 

Although the concept is not original script writer and director Gabe McDonnell along with fellow director Rosie Roberts and dance director Emma Chinnock create enough surprises to make the show interesting and although played at one level, full volume, the enthusiasm of the cast is infectious. 

And as tacky and tasteless as the show is, the endless array of costumes the dancers adorn adding much to the shows flavour, it is nevertheless highly entertaining, quite funny in places and a huge hit with the sell-out crowds the show is drawing.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


Grant Buist August 11th, 2010

 I once accidentally called them 'Red-Hot' in Jitterati. Gabe was Not Pleased.

Editor August 11th, 2010

Agreed. Stuff - the website for all Fairfax newspapers - is very erratic in its posting of theatre and dance reviews, hence the arrangement that Theatreview may publish them in full once they've appeared in print. Theatreview is, in effect, the defacto e-archive for Fairfax performing arts reviews.

Maryanne Cathro August 10th, 2010

I clicked on the link to the DomPost site to read Ewen's review and got the homepage. I tried searching for the review by the show's name, on the Reviews page, which is overrun by CD and film reviews, and I cannot find it. What is it about theatre that it is treated with such blasé contempt among the plebian detritus of pop culture?

Make a comment

Made for loving, baby

Review by John Smythe 06th Aug 2010

What can you say about a show that sells out its season – albeit just 3 nights of it, but at Downstage this time, not Bats – before it even opens? Since they first formed in 2005, The Real Hot Bitches have developed a strong following that arguably exceeds the friends and whanau of the 30-odd performers plus creative, production and backstage crew that make up this year’s team.  

RHB captures the zeitgeist of a generation raised in the lurid glow of Flashdance, Dirty Dancing and bedroom, rumpus room and school concert reincarnations of the Pop Rock, Glam Rock and Bubblegum Pop genres. Where once they played at being grown-ups in a supposedly sophisticated world they were yet to enter, they now wallow in lycra-clad nostalgia for a time long gone; for dreams of a tacky show-biz glory never quite fulfilled. And their peer-group fans identify.

This all happens in a parallel universe they are pleased to call “semi-professional dance”, complementing a ‘real world’ that sees them as mothers, office workers, teachers and ‘professionals’ (doctors, lawyers, etc) by day. Indeed they took a bye last year because four key members were having babies. And now they are back with a vengeance.

The Fierceness is billed as their “most ambitious show ever” what with having a script – by Gabe McDonnell, who co-directs with Rosie Roberts – that helps structure the show and motivate the dance routines. It also makes a virtue of the enthusiastic wannabe semi-professional fantasist personae of the performers, who come in all shapes and sizes and with a range of skill levels. (I don’t think they turn anyone away from their classes; their website claims over 125 members.)

All the members have stage names and in that guise 12 play differently-named roles in this show, predicated on the auditions Cynthia Sachet (Candy le Coque)* and her desperate-to-dance-too assistant Geraldine (Pop Tart) are running for their next “off off, way off Broadway Hit Dance Spectacular” – cue: ‘When Will I Be Famous?’ with much shaking of boobies and booty.

Those who survive the first radical cut include once-conjoined twins Sheena (Cyndi Lamas-Arquette) and Tina (Trixie Boom), whose Khandallah Stage Mum (Debrelle van Haler) wants them to be lawyers; Bobby Carlyle (Lee-Roy Swayse), in denial about his Dannevirke High heritage; his unrequited love Gloria (Mercedes D’Silhouette), a classically-trained refugee from Romania who was born to dance but was also a child prodigy gastroenterologist; white satin cowgirl Loretta (Pearl Lusta) who has been much married; kleptomaniac Carly (Gem Wilder) …

The basic format is that they each get asked a question by Cynthia, and their response reveals their background and segues into a big number backed up by the Featured Dancers and Chorus Line (click on the title above to see all the credit listings). Thus we get such numbers as ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’, ‘We Are Family’, ‘Here I Go Again’, ‘Hurts So Good’, ‘Flesh for Fantasy’, ‘My Prerogative’, ‘Gloria’, ‘She’s a Maniac’ …

En route we hear the poignant tale of how Cynthia was brought up a Norman (a little-known branch of the Mormons) before she made a break for it and broke into the dance scene. As for Geraldine, beneath that meek and ever-optimistic exterior lies a … well, a maniac.

Although their all-dancing, all-lip-synching verve, vitality and ‘bitching moves’ are infectious, it remains true to the ‘semi professional’ standards they aspire to; fun to do and fun to watch. The array of costuming is splendid and Jennifer Lal’s lighting design lifts the production values considerably.

While there is lots of stroppy strutting and posturing throughout, the full-on ‘fierceness’ is reserved for the finale: Iron Maiden’s ‘Run to the Hills’ (“White man came across the sea / He brought us pain and misery”), performed by the full ensemble in animal skin prints and horned Viking helmets (didn’t they invade Britain? I take it the wonky connection with history is a conscious declaration of meaninglessness).

The encore is ‘I Was Made For Loving You Baby’ which pretty well expresses the collective feeling of the audience towards the Real Hot Bitches.
– – – – – – – – –
*Given she is the co-founder, producer, publicist and a fund-raiser for RHB and this show, I think it needs to be revealed that Candy le Coque, who plays Cynthia Sachet, is Angela Meyer in the ‘real world’.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council