Starting with the sounds of Madonna’s Like a Prayer right away this show tells you it’s not going to be an ordinary sermon. Who better to lead us into temptation and deliver us our sins than Eric Schmalenberger as he preaches ‘Pleasure is our cross to bear!’ Pleasure is what was delivered into the holy sanctity of The Hillside Theatre in Gluttony.
This night’s performers were a mixed bag of unholy communion with burlesque, break dancing, drag, poetry readings and aerial acrobatics. Bettie Bombshell is ‘fucking it up to the tempo’ of the Lizzo tune Tempo and as always tearing up the stage with her unapologetic brand of burlesque. Dazza and Keif in some flashy looking track suit tuxedos bumped and grinded their way to a hilarious break dance session while Danisa Snake slithered her way into a sultry and seductive drag performance.
In between acts Schmalenberger graced us with unorthodox sermons, meditations and confessions. There’s no private confessionals in this .Church. All the crowd’s sins were freshly laid out on the line with Schmalenberger’s quick wit and sharp burns to teach us all a lesson in unabated shame.
Georgia Hooper wasn’t ‘taking any shit’ with her poetry reading; Pouring out her convictions for female empowerment giving us a lesson in freedom and no shame. Miss Cairo drag performance brought some dark glamour and sweet seductive vocals singing My Heart Belongs to Daddy. Adam Kassar gave us his own brand of sultry and mesmerising boylesque while dynamic rope acrobat Emily Chilvers accompanied by Vivian Fontaine singing Hozier’s Take Me To Church twirled, balanced and dropped on the rope with poise and sheer elegance.
Last act was Ruby Slippers and Eggs & Ham as a beautifully rainbowed coloured unicorn busting out some twerking moves to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s raunchy WAP and other pony/horse related tunes. .Church. is a variety show with not so many saints but plenty of sinners! It’s that kind of late, late night show that requires everything you’re not taught in a regular church; an open mind with no expectations.
Fringe Review by Anastasia Lambis
For show info and tickets to .Church. head to FringeTix