Burlesque Idol hinges on the popular game-show concept that encourages audience participation to maximize viewer interest. The recipe is simple. The base spirit, a charming hostess on a stage. The modifier, a selection of fabulous acts designed entertain and tantalise both the crowd and judges. And finally, the flavour – or rather, the Fringe twist; a winner crowned at the end of each night, based on the votes of the audience.
A knock-out show on paper, however the line-up presents a mixed bag of both amateur and awe-inspiring performances, with some inventive contestants blowing the audience away, while others lagged beyond enjoyment.
The show was slow to kick off, with the hostess a bit too attached to her cue-cards. The consistent “daaaarlings” became a bit forced and it would’ve been nice to see her authentic personality shine.
Furthermore, instead of ten minutes of idle chat before the introduction of the judges, come out with a bang, rattle of the game-show rules and seat the esteemed judges on a stage or a podium nearby, instead of having them disappear into the darkness.
As the audience couldn’t see the judges, it was hard to enjoy their airtime, though they certainly contributed flavour to the night. The token male judge exclaimed, “I am pretty sure I just turned straight!” following an impressive routine, and indeed there were moments of great triumph. From a vengeful murderess to a comedic juicy peach and even a fabulous James Bond re-imagining, there's really something for everyone.
So if you're dipping your toes into the pool of burlesque and you're not sure where to start, this show is for you. It's spicy enough to make your evening worthwhile, but safe enough to take your nan to for a night to remember.