Burlesque. Circus. Dance.
For thousands of years, the zodiac has inspired artists from ancient Babylon and Egypt, Greece, and Rome, through to the present day. But the tales of the zodiac in Oracle: A Mythical Journey Through the Stars may not be familiar to readers of Athena Starwoman. That is because their creator, Bass Fam, has infused them with his Egyptian heritage. Fam is multitalented, writing, directing, and producing his shows. They blend dance, circus, acrobatics, cabaret, and burlesque to a soundtrack of music by the likes of Lady Gaga and Adele.
Oracle picks its way through the twelve signs of the zodiac using a cast of 18 highly skilled performers. These are performers who can sing and dance on the ground or in the air, who turn the pole dance into an art form.
Jazmin Varlet from the X Factor
The show is narrated by a voluptuous blind oracle, played by Jazmin Varlet, who competed in The Voice and The X Factor and sings a number of the songs.
The evening begins in ancient Egypt with Anubis, the God of the Dead, who uses a scale to weigh the souls of the departed. Aubis becomes Libra (Keeva Svikart), who performs a sensuous belly dance, and whose scales symbolises the final judgment.
Danni Golding and Jason Gonçalves as Castor and Pollux
Libra is followed by Castor and Pollux, performed by Danni Golding and Jason Goncalves, divinely handsome twins who are in love with each other but doomed to be parted because Castor is mortal and Pollux immortal. The two perform a stunning trapeze dance that so moves Zeus that he immortalises Castor so that they can twinkle together for eternity in the constellation of Gemini.
The tale of Venus and Cupid
The tale of Venus and Cupid and her ascension into the heavens in an aerial dance is literally hair-raising – the cable that lifts her off the ground appears to be attached to a bun on the top of her head. Shortly after we see the rape of Europa and the capture of Persephone. A buxom Bettie Bombshell plays a fire-eating Hercules pursuing a lion. Crios the Crab (Soliana Ersie) turns herself inside out with an extraordinary contortion act. The Egyptian God Amun Ra played by Adam Malone becomes Taurus the Bull. Rhys Lightning plays the part of Aquarius.
The lavish handmade costumes cling to the performers and only occasionally fall off to reveal a glimpse of a nipple.
This is a show that delights in amazing and entertaining the audience but has moments of beauty and sadness that linger in the memory long after the curtain comes down.
Oracle: A Mythical Journey Through the Stars plays at the Roslyn Packer Theatre from June 29 to July 8, 2023.
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