Little Death Club photo by The Ponder Room

Last week I went to three late-night cabaret acts in Fringe World 2019, namely: Circus’Cision; The Little Death Club; and Cam Veen Charles Horse Lays An Egg. Turns out it was the perfect lineup. Each show increased in level of bawdiness and weird. Perfect.

Little Death Club ©The Ponder Room

Circus’Cision

On a forty degree, hot Perth night, you had to feel for the performers working in a centuries old Spiegeltent. Meanwhile we audience members were given fans.

The team that performed on our night included monks, hula hoops and rings, cigar-box juggling, a bubble girl, aerial rope work, topped off by the fine skills of Head First acrobatics. It’s a nod to the show that the audience soon forgot about the heat and was completely focused on the entertainment before them. Circus’Cision was a great night resulting in much hollering and foot stomping. It also turned out to be the perfect start for what was to come.

Little Death Club ©The Ponder Room

The Little Death Club

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Having traveled the world Bernie Dieter has gathered together a wonderful team of “punks, freaks and weirdos” as she calls them, for her latest punk cabaret show. Think Cabaret meet Frank-n-Futer.

Little Death Club ©The Ponder Room

The evening began with said “freaks” prowling through the audience giving free shoulder massages. The lineup included: nail snorting (yes you heard that right), fire eating/twirling like you’ve never seen before, stomach churning contortions, divine aerial work, a vengeful sex doll, a 7 foot tall Gingzilla drag queen lamenting lost love, and some indescribable human feats with a drill.

Little Death Club ©The Ponder Room

Threading through all this was Dieter performing a series of hilarious original songs. Her operatic tones often hiding the raunchy naughtiness of the message. Her take on social media, particularly her personal retribution on unwanted photos of male appendages, was priceless. If only we could all take the same revenge.

Little Death Club ©The Ponder Room

The audience couldn’t stop laughing. Well actually that’s a lie. You could feel the shift and love in the tent when Dieter turned her songbird tones to a poignant tune. Performed at the back of the stage, while one of her charges performed a beautiful aerial routine up front, it was simply beautiful. A reminder that behind all the humour was great talent.  Overall the message was one of embrace differences. Masterfully wicked.

Cam Venn: Charles Horse Lays An Egg

Just when you think you’ve seen it all there’s the sublime Cam Venn.  Venn put everything, and I mean everything on the line in his tour de force, one man show. The show takes the audience into space where our hero is trying to save the planet.

Little Death Club ©The Ponder Room

With a small, intimate stage full of props he soon had the whole audience involved. As members of NASA our answers helped guide the course of the show. Alternating between laughing out loud, singing along, trying not to get picked, and blushing, we ultimately all made it safely to the end, albeit with a descent about of cringing. Venn often broke the fourth wall to check (in a whisper) that we were still with him, which we always were. The motion only endeared him to us even more. Still laughing a week later, there are definitely some sights that cannot be unseen. Warning, nudity and bodily functions.

For more information go to Fringe World Festival

Glennys Marsdon
Most kids grow out of asking ‘but why’, Glennys didn’t. So she trained as a psychologist and established The Customers’ Voice, consumer psychology consultancy in 2000, where she researches why we do what we do. After losing her partner in 2005 she understood the importance of making the most out of life, and began The Ponder Room blog, to help people do just that. By ‘having a go’ she now has a monthly column in a magazine, three non-fiction books published, been nominated for a Telstra Business Women’s Award, and profiled by US internet guru Seth Godin in a worldwide competition about people making a difference. She firmly believes in living a positive life and following your passion.