The beautifully refurbished heritage building that once was the Newtown School of Arts and is now 5 Eliza is the perfect venue for an intimate cabaret-style show like Wonderfully Terrible Things.
With its rich, Edwardian styled interior, demure lighting, and collection of quirky and curious bric-a-brac, the theatre’s entrance and bar area set the right temperature for Christine Ibrahim and her delightfully awful troupe of brilliant miscreants.
The performance area is set in the traverse, with a ground-level stage and church pews rising in tiers on opposite sides. A raised area at the front of the room also acts as a stage. The top level is surrounded by arched leadlight doors, almost but not quite opaque. Performers make their entrance through these doors after first pressing teasingly against the glass.
Ibrahim is the mistress of ceremonies, intermittently singing one of her wickedly funny own compositions and cheekily interacting with the audience.
For this iteration of Wonderfully Terrible Things, Ibrahim has invited a troupe of circus and burlesque artists who are able to thrill in a confined space. Firm favourite, Captain Finhead , does his fire-eating while lying on a nail bed routine as casually as if he’s making a cup of tea.
There’s a stunning multi-hula hoop spinner, a whip-cracking vixen, an incredible male/female show of strength and balance, some sultry striptease and loads of devilish fun.
Memphis Mae plays a kind of side-kick to Ibrahim, camping it up and flirting with audience members.
This is not a show for delicate, shy or easily offended theatre-goers. It features full-frontal nudity, adult themes, sexual references and a song titled “I Wish My C**t Was a Gun”.
If none of that phases you, then come and enjoy a filthy good night.