Fringe World 2018: The Candy Box review

Imogen Kelly’s The Candy Box is a sweet choose-your-own-adventure style exploration of innovative and humorous burlesque, bringing together the impressive creativity of Australia’s Queen of Burlesque and World Queen of Burlesque 2012 with a talented cast of national performers for a highly entertaining night.

Known her creativity, impressive costumes and sexy-fun style, Imogen Kelly is burlesque royalty and it was an absolute treat to see her perform at Fringe World. Together with MC Christa Hughes – Australian singer (Machine Gun Felatio), circus performer and comedian – Imogen takes you on a glorious ride through some of her most spectacular, and most deranged, acts. Throw in special guests and cabaret stars, and you have a mixed Candy Box of fine confections.

Candy Box Image Leslie Liu

Image by Leslie Liu

No two shows will be the same, as it’s up to the audience to choose from a menu of delectable sweets – and trust the Perth opening night crowd to steer very clear of the classy acts and get straight into the deranged and dodgy ones!

After opening with her famous Flamingo Go number, complete with spectacular costume and trademark wit, it was up to us to choose between the classy and fabulous Claire de Lune act, and the much-less glamorous but highly entertaining Beige Is the New Beige. When it came to a choice between the beautiful Flutterby number and one that had the word ‘turd’ in the title, you can be sure which one we chose – and the result was delightfully and grossly hilarious.

Finishing up with a Marie Antoinette number Imogen shows just how quickly she can go from classy to wild, slipping and sliding around the stage after her ‘let them eat cake’ declaration. From these few acts alone it’s easy to see why she is Australia’s burlesque queen – from surreal performance art to grotesque burlesque, classic and high glamour to down-and-dirty humour, she can pull of any number of characters with grace and charm, drawing out smiles and laughter as well as hoots of delight.

Dotted in between Imogen’s acts were perfectly complementary numbers from some of Australia’s most beloved burly stars. Mr Boylesque WA 2015 Bobbie Sox and Kelly Ann Doll jazzed things up with an energetic duet; the always impressive Bettie Bombshell showed off her trademark attitude and powerful personality as she bumped and ground across the stage; Ruby Slippers stole my heart with her uniquely hilarious, empowering number set to the track ‘Bleeding Love’; and the gorgeous Diesel Darling showed off some impressive moves and good face as she sashayed and spun from a giant champagne glass, flicking water with abandon.

Part fabulous burlesque event, part game show, The Candy Box was an impressive foray that highlighted a sumptuously innovative side of burlesque that is not often seen. BYO swear jar and settle in for sweet but saucy ride.

You can see The Candy Box at Circus Theatre, Fringe Central, every night at 8:30pm until Sunday 4th February.

Flamingo Go Imogen Kelly



*I received tickets to this show in exchange for my review (thanks Muse Bureau). All opinions are my own.

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