‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ was ballsy.
Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, Brisbane Powerhouse’s ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ will put you straight on Santa’s bad list… willingly.
The cheeky cabaret that pokes fun at our favourite Christmas carols, has returned for another silly season guaranteed to tickle audiences all the right places. Featuring six sexy performers and a live band, the comedy show is everything needed to spark the holiday spirit. In a mixture of song, dance and skits, the performers bare all (literally) with many theatrical ingredients for the perfect Christmas feast.
Now in their third year, the next instalment of ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ proves to be the best yet, with the return of some favourite acts and crude carols, like ‘Jingle Balls’ and the much loved ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ dance excerpt from ‘Mean Girls’. There’s also the appearance of many new songs, evidently satisfying both first-time and returning customers.
Written by David Lawrence, Matthew Semple and Maureen Bowra, with concepts by Alex Woodward, the hilarity outrageously builds and builds, in this side-splitting venture that delivers plenty of presents filled with humour. While many may be accustomed to joking around at home and changing words to Christmas carols, ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ does this expertly, in a tongue-in-cheek variety show.
Bowra, who is a mastermind behind many of Brisbane’s finest productions, has also directed and choreographed the production along with burlesque artist Dan Venz. Their combined efforts allow action to move seamlessly from one side entrance to the other. Audiences are never waiting too long between scenes, and the simplistic set design by Raymond Milner easily facilitates these quick transitions. The overall look includes a recessed platform for the band to sit in and a completely tinsel fringed exterior. It’s simple, effective and enough to get audiences in the festive mood. Choreography is equal parts skilled and jovial, and showcases the talents of an incredibly energetic collective.
Musical direction by Jake Bristow highlights the mega vocal abilities of the performers, and harmonies are to die for; especially within the three-part Barbershop-styled vocal parts by some of the women performers. ‘Let It Snow’, or rather ‘Let It Blow’, was a crack-up (pun intended), with the performance accelerating in tempo and humour.
Packing the entertainment punch are some of Brisbane’s best musical theatre performers and artists. Among the entertainers is vocal powerhouse and Christmas grinch, Aurelie Roque; flirtatious, petite and skilled dancer, Candice Holyoak; the moving and daring nutcracker Dan Venz; boy-crazy bombshell and sultry singer Emily Kristopher; resident funny man and Mr Bean impersonator, Elliot Baker; energetic and comedic firecracker Stacey De Waard; and sassy and eager performer Patrick Whitbread.
Stephen Hirst plays the title role of Santa Claus and moves the cleverly chaotic show along with gusto. Now a staple in the very naughty line-up, Hirst presents the adulterated version of Saint Nick, who’s very misbehaved and a complete bad-ass. A standout moment was Hirst’s dark delivery of ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ sung in a very low octave, turning the usual child-friendly carol into the stuff of nightmares.
As a whole, the team and creatives behind ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ successfully curate a polished and finely tuned production. It’s clear, like a present made with love, that this joyful show has been treated with the same amount of care. It’s truly a Christmas miracle to have such a great time out at the theatre and hear the roaring laughter from an adoring crowd.
If there’s one Christmas tradition that should be upheld, it’s that of ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ at the Powerhouse. This very merry festive act never fails to deliver comedy gold and is guaranteed to have audiences singing a new version of some of their favourite holiday tunes.
Those prudish are probably best to stay at home in the safe confines of their lounge room. If more on the daring side, then don’t miss this show – especially since Santa only “comes” once a year.
‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ flies into town until Saturday, 14 December 2019. For tickets book at the Brisbane Powerhouse Website – but get in quick before they sell-out.
Photography by Joel Devereux