REVIEW: Love and Money (The Dust Palace)

Mike Edward and Eve Gordon in Love and Money

Money CAN buy love [by Sharu Delilkan]

Mike Edward and Eve Gordon in Love and Money

Be warned that the cast of Love and Money don’t only bear all physically, they bear their souls through this intimate emotional journey. This clever piece of theatre is slickly peppered with cirque-theatre that’s the hallmark of The Dust Palace.

Having seen Venus Is at Q Loft over a year ago, I was looking forward to seeing how The Dust Palace was going to use TAPAC’s theatre space. And in keeping with the company’s ability to make the audience feel part of the show, Love and Money definitely delivered. Having random furniture scattered around the room meant you never knew which quadrant the cast would appear in throughout the evening – something that really worked and helped to keep the show’s pace.

Love and Money is a slick selection of burlesque style circus performance with revealing stories about the beautiful, gritty lives of strippers. I particularly liked the range of scenes from a rock-like concert to the intimate bathroom dance.

Known for burlesque-orientated works such as Burlesque As You Like It, Venus Is … and Circus Non Sequitur, this production shows The Dust Palace in a very different light, incorporating narrative. The good news for fans is that the show still has all the schmaltzy elements of an aerial cabaret show. However the even better news is that with this new direction is story-driven, which has been helped by the involvement of Leighton Cardno and Jaimee Edward as writing partners.

The old adage “write about what you know” really rings true in this production, and the risqué honesty using divine sensuality works on all levels – a pleasant change from the often contrived storylines which are part and parcel of many burlesque shows.

Love and Money will go down in history for taking cirque-theatre to another level by the use of some never-been-seen-before aerial apparatus including counter-weight poles and a stack of scarily piled high chairs used as props.

The ensemble cast is astutely led by Eve Gordon and Mike Edward and superbly complemented by Ascia Maybury, Geof Gilson and Edward Clendon.

As all good vaudeville/burlesque shows should, Love and Money was a pastiche of scenes running through various storylines to outright camp numbers. And the fact that all of this was further heightened by amazing athletic skill and acting prowess, made it even better.

Despite being opening night the show’s pace was as agile as its players. This can only mean one thing – those who go to see the show from here on out will get an even better and even slicker production – if that’s even possible.

Love and Money is presented by The Dust Palace and plays at TAPAC, Motions Rd, Western Springs until 24 November. More details see The Dust Palace

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