A young, voluptuous, red velvet leotard-clad woman clowns and mimes her way across an intimate stage, the scene lit-up with a scarlet glow.
She opens a tan leather satchel, and out of it flows a stream of chaotic sounds and memories, seemingly referring to Pandora’s Box releasing its torrent of horrors before collapsing into the last rays of hope.
It’s evident early on that we’re at the seaside – the stage is decorated with broken bottles, smashed glass and sand – much like a beach at Byron Bay once the schoolies have hit town.
From there, the audience is privy to this circus-like, bawdry feast of movement and a type of gorgeousness reminiscent of Beryl Cook’s seaside beauties.
Tell Tails was inspired by Hobart’s Bridget Nickalson-King’s (aka Bridget Bridge) Oma, and if that’s the case, Bridget’s Oma must have been a cool lady.
Even if you’re not particularly into mime (not a word is uttered during the entire performance), you’d have to agree this solo performance is clever and funny, with most of the audience giggling throughout.
Bridget says her granny lived an “extraordinary life” and had a “legendary” ability to tell amazing stories to her grandkids.Tell Tails is based on the questions Bridget would ask her Oma in response to these often outrageous stories like: “if you could give the person you most love one message, what would it be?” and “what’s it like to go on a romantic date?”
The results are quirky and hilarious. It’s a touching ode, and it’s sweet to see Bridget’s Oma living on through her granddaughter’s circus and burlesque.
Set and lighting designer Jason James has meticulously created a replica of Melbourne’s legendary cabaret venue, The Butterfly Club, inside Salamanca’s own Peacock Theatre.
The theatre is roped off to make it smaller, and the audience is invited to sit as near to Bridget as possible.
The lighting is scorching red, and it’s a pretty good match. Before the show, the audience is invited to sip on some wine or buy some popcorn at the carnival-style bar – a pretty cute touch.
Tell Tails isn’t around for long though – it’s heading off to be one of the headlining acts at the Butterfly Club for the Fringe Festival after its three-nights-only stint in Hobart.
Tell Tails is showing at The Peacock Theatre September 11, 12 and 13. Shows start at 8pm, with all tickets $15. Tickets are available at Frankies Empire, 129 Elizabeth Street or online at http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/tell-tails-tickets-12684675205