For one week only (30 April to 4 May) Daphne Kuhn’s Theatre on the Square is playing host to Boyleque. I went along on opening night to see what it was all about.
Wikipaedia points out that “Burlesque is a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects. The word derives from the Italian burlesco, which itself derives from the Italian burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery.” The unusual and very amusing ballet piece, The Dying Swan, from Saint Saens’ The Carnival of the Animals performed by Sibu Radebe is the perfect example of this ludicrous treatment of a serious subject – and as I used the word “unusual” the people who have seen, like I have, at least a dozen parodies of the piece can rest assured this one is different.
Boylesque certainly achieves that aim as Sibu Radebe, Stanimir Stoykov, Gabriella Cirillo and KOKO join forces to perform this style of theatre (while burlesque is much older, the particular style that is captured here is from the 1930 and 1940s in the USA) that is enjoying yet another revival, proving its timelessness in entertaining an audience. It hits the funny bone as we go back to music we know from years gone by – and some new stuff. There are fifteen songs in one jam-packed hour of upbeat humour.
It is clear that the cast is having a good time, and each of them has their little moment in the limelight. The Theatre on the Square is perfect for this type of quirky and intimate theatre piece. It lends itself to relaxed fun.
This is not new, ground breaking theatre, but rather solid dancing, music and twenty two very sexy costumes, the sum of which is a pleasure to behold, and the talent on display was positively delightful. If one is in a mood for silly, fluffy fun then Boylesque is the show to see.
This fun element, combined with outrageous costumes and plenty of dancing and music, is what “Boylesque” is all about.