Oracle – REVIEW

Oracle – REVIEW
Image: Bettie Bombshell in ORACLE. Image: Ben Vella

You know it is a good opening night in Sydney when the theatre foyer is packed with drag queens in their best finery and sporting skyscraper high heels.

This outstanding effort was for Oracle, returning to Sydney after a successful run at the Opera House last year.

Once again, former The Voice and X Factor contestant Jazmin Varlet steps into the role of the Oracle, a blind but visionary guide who takes us through mankind’s creation myths as seen in the night sky through the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Danny Golding (Aquarius), ORACLE. Image: Ben Vella
Jazmin Varlet in ORACLE. Image: Ben Vella

Set against a simple backdrop of a majestic ruin (perfect for entrances and exits) each star sign provides the cues for the 12 distinct acts that are set up by the Oracle. Narration or song introduces a new tale into the lives and foibles of the gods who reflect the frailties of humankind.

With her focus and physicality throughout this energetic and varied storyline, Varlet proves to be an unflinching guide who commands the stage and action as the 18 performers dazzle and bewilder us with an array of acrobatic, aerial, dance, movement, burlesque and circus acts that we haven’t seen since the heyday of Circus Oz.

Adam Malone (Aries), ORACLE. Image: Ben Vella
Lisa Herbert as Angel in ORACLE. Image: Ben Vella

Showing particularly high levels of skills and execution is the aerial silk work and the juggling of hula hoops that ends up with the performer working six hoops at the same time.

Gemini is titled “A Tale of Two Brothers” and recounts the the relationship between Pollux, an immortal, and Castor, a mortal imbued with an adventurous curiosity.

Eventually Castor ages, and Pollux is distraught at the thought of losing him.

ORACLE. Image: Ben Vella

Appealing to his father Zeus for help, the king of gods makes Castor an immortal and the two brothers get to live together forever as the constellation Gemini.

The aerial acrobatic work from the two main performers is nothing short of breathtaking in its physicality and beauty, which by the end has you believing that you are witnessing the creation of the star form.

(Virgo) ORACLE. Image: Ben Vella

Bringing a touch of burlesque to the show is an interlude featuring a buxom beauty sporting two whips which she wields with terrifying dexterity and more than a twinkle in her eyes.

Performers often break the fourth wall as they appeal to the audience for acclamation, which throughout the night is willingly and enthusiastically given.

Adding to the rich mix of artistic disciplines is a display of body contortions of such extremes they seem humanly impossible.

Marry all of this with a pumping contemporary soundtrack and a light show worthy of the most decadent night club and you have almost two hours of seamless entertainment, even if the jumps from ancient Egyptian mythology to those of ancient Greece and Rome are puzzling at times.

Oracle is the third of Bass Fam Creative’s theatre spectacular’s and one well worth the journey, and those drag queens in high heels knew something in advance as at the end during the standing ovation they towered above the crowd’s heads.

Until July 8

Roslyn Packer Theatre, 22 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay 

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