Sunday, October 28, 2018


Flaunt It and Haunt It. Vaudeville Show

Produced by Tiger Lily and Krewd with Tiger Lily, Bambi Valentine,  AMBi!, InkBits and Golden Boi. Polit Bar. Manuka. October 26th.

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins

Up a very narrow stairway to the sounds of the Polit Bar  Into a Halloween Hideaway of gold beaded curtain around a hanging chandelier and cotton cobwebs dangling  in the spooky air.   Here burlesque and Butoh, comedy and cabaret, Frank L Baum and Bertolt Brecht haunt the night and flaunt the fabulous sexy, scintillating  talents of in-your-face performers , hosted by the irrepressible Bambi Valentine and   Tiger Lily.

Tiger Lily. Photo by Adam Thomas
Flaunt It and Haunt It delivers what it promises, an anarchic night of vaudeville revelry, unabashed and uninhibited during a cavalcade of the risque and the ribald, recalling the divine decadence of the Weimar cabaret. From comedienne Frankie McNair’s  flaunting French Fries to AMBi!'s ghostly spook or Golden Boi's spirit of sleaze, a throwback to Fellini’s Satyricon and Bambi Valentine’s  deathly scythe wielding rendition of  What Keeps Mankind Alive  from The Threepenny Opera, Halloween is alive and deadly in the narrow confines of the upstairs Polit Bar. Every act surprises and delights, sending audiences into peals of laughter as Tiger Lily and Krewd deliver almost three hours of  non- stop entertainment. Tiger Lily hosts with flair and a haunting sensuality on the saxophone and the evening presents a cabaret that keeps its audience engrossed on the music, comedy and burlesque.
Bambi Valentine. Photo: David Mackie

Every moment of the night brings a new surprise. Stand up comedienne Frankie McNair is a comic force alone or with her Sweaty Pits twin Ethel (AMBi!) Fringe award winning duo, Sweaty Pits is an act to watch. As are all the acts in this talented team of cabaret performers. Bambi Valentine’s transition from the sentimental Tin man’s song to a convulsed and obsessed Butoh dancer of the darkness  turns innocence to demonic possession. InkBits with the throaty jazz singing voice lends her character an ambivalent sexuality. It too haunts the evening air and flaunts the mystery of her song of soul.
Golden Boi. Photo  David Mackie

Flaunt It and Haunt It explores the underbelly of society – the outcasts, the misfits, the rebels and the protests and priestesses of the darkness. And yet, these are the ones who can see through the darkness to the light and expose the bigotry, the hypocrisy and the inconsistency of conventional society.

Tiger Lily and AMBi  Photo David Mackie

I climbed the stairway with some slight trepidation. I left impressed by the  talent and the intelligence of performers who upheld the tradition of the anarchic and dared to confront and question the conventional and the complacent. Tiger Lily and Krewd embrace a protest as old as the theatre itself, but they do it with an originality that I found refreshing as well as living up to the subversive spirit of the art of cabaret.