REVIEW: Velvet

Velvet

Disco is dying. That’s what people say. Velvet aims to prove that point wrong. Velvet brings together a mixture of classic disco songs with acrobatics and circus-style acts to create an interesting and entertaining show. Also, it has Marcia Hines and her incredible vocals front and centre.

The director of the show, Craig Ilott describes Velvet as “a nightclub and a state of mind.” Inspired by Studio 54, Velvet aims to celebrate parties and freedom, following a young man on a journey of self-discovery.

The show isn’t so much a musical as it is a performance though. There is no distinguishable linear story, however, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have fun. As you watch the performances, you can’t help but be drawn in.

Velvet begins with the first member of the performance team, Mirko Kockenberger, a young handstand acrobat from Berlin. He blends the music perfectly with his acrobatics and leaves room for a minor strip-show. Following him is the rest of the performers weaving in, flying over the audience, flipping out and most importantly, dancing their hearts out.

Featuring all the classic disco hits, many of which are sung by the cast, Velvet invites the audience to dance with those on stage. If you don’t feel the music running through you as you witness the show, you’re watching it wrong.

There are many highlights of Velvet, such as Marcia Hines belting out disco hits, Tom Oliver’s emotional stripped back rendition of Stayin’ Alive, Emma Goh’s aerial work in her terrifying heels, Stephen Williams’ thirst-inducing strength performance while Marcia sings It’s Raining Men in the background.

While all of those are all exciting and fun, the greatest highlight came through with Craig Reid, the hula-hoop extraordinaire. Rocking a skin-tight leotard and gravity-defying movements with a bunch of hula hoops, Reid quickly became the crowd favourite.

Roughly halfway through the evening, Velvet does take an odd turn. While it is meant to be inspired by a club famous for its hedonism, a BDSM inspired performance to the tune of Turn the Beat Around feels a little out of place. It features all of the cast members, with the exception of Hines, dressed like something out of a Tarantino movie (gimp suit included) and being overtly sexual so brace yourself.

Velvet returns true to form shortly after however, and Hines comes back to make the crowd sing and dance along.

All of the performances were accentuated with Joe Accaria’s percussion antics, always visible in the background but also coming centre-stage with the two dancers of the evening to blend some incredible sounds.

Overall, Velvet does what it promises and keeps you entertained and longing to return to the days of wild discotheques and dance the night away. If you haven’t seen it yet, I would highly recommend you check it out. At the very least, you should enjoy the view.

Positives:

  • Great music and entertaining performances
  • Witnessing a live performance of Marcia Hines

Negatives:

  • Lacking a storyline

Rating: 8/10

Velvet is playing at Roslyn Packer Theatre until August 20. Buy your tickets here!

Have you seen the show too? Let us know by commenting below.

– Written by John Ardic

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