Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Sunday March 19, 2006
There exists a distinct danger in overstating the fact. Kaboom!, a two performer show from Vashti Hughes and Trash Vaudeville, is advertised as a ‘burlesque big bang’, wherein these two underground cabaret stars incarnate a ‘cast of thousands’ for our viewing pleasure. The fact that the sketch-based show featuring half a dozen individual monologues goes for little more than an hour on a mostly bare stage is not a bad thing, the publicity just raises expectations to an unreachable level. That out of the way Kaboom! is great fun and an all-important slice of subversive cultural life.
Vashi Hughes incarnates her sexually restrained Mavis Hughes, the pin-up lady for nice girls who like to get dirty. Her wild exploits onstage with a sassy French speaking cassette player are good value as are her attempts to get her mind out of the gutter while diarising a dull day: naughtiness every 9-5er in the room could surely relate to.
Trash Vaudeville offers something a little different, beginning with some wonderfully evocative circus performance over computer animation, a startlingly unique visual trick which works very well. From here he plays three campy characters; a ‘spare a dollar’ window-washer, a boozy 70s scene queen and a trashy trannie hooker. With a little more confidence onstage Trash will evolve into a fine satirist – at present the feeling the stage is made of hot coals he must skip over decentralises his performances and is slightly unnerving for an audience looking to be controlled by a performer’s conviction. This will come with time.
Proceedings are finished with two very large pink feather boers and a handful of hoola-hoops – of course!