‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ was raunchy.
For those looking for a night out that’s tinselled with tear-inducing laughter and guaranteed to pop you on Santa’s naughty list, hop on the sleigh to Woodward Production’s ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’!
Now in its sixth consecutive year, this adults-only yuletide comedy has spiced up the Brisbane stage, reinventing Christmas carols for the old. After previously calling the Brisbane Powerhouse home, ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ has now nestled its 2022 season in La Boite’s Roundhouse Theatre – a perfect choice for this intimate and tongue-in-cheek cabaret. The new setting worked wonders for enhancing the up-late scandalous, burlesque-styled production, and allowed actors to get up close and personal with the audience.
In its latest festive season, ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ begins by luring the audience into its Winter Wonderland with a sweet rendition of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’… before slapping them around the face with a string of pun-infused, low-brow comedy. From there, the audience is treated to a raunchy evening of risqué performances, tantalising tunes, dirty language and political incorrectness all wrapped with a wonderful wit to create the most inappropriately hilarious Christmas present (probably not one for the grandparents).
While the show’s premise is without a doubt focused on the lude, rude and nude, ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ still injects irreverent social commentary. A particular favourite performance in the show was a perfectly harmonised quartet about how Santa discriminates against children based on their socio-economic status, ‘Santa Loves You Less Because You’re Poor’.
The stellar cast comprised both veteran and fresh naughty carollers: Aurélie Roque, Daniel Erbacher, Emily Kristopher, Emma Whitefield, Ethan Jones, Kate Yaxley, Shay Debney, Stephen Hirst and Taylah Ferguson.
Together this ensemble of scantily clad performers shone and each also had their moment as soloists. While all highly skilled triple threats, it was refreshing to see each performer perfectly cast to their role and able to shine in their specialised artform.
Daniel Erbacher and Taylah Ferguson were sultry and bewitching in their burlesque-style dance numbers which included some very slick striptease dance moves. Shay Debney was endearing as Santa’s put-open elf. Aurelie Roque delivered a salacious performance of ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ and turned the song on its head. Kate Yaxley showcased impressive vocals in ‘Never Fall in Love with an Elf’ and every song by Emma Whitefield oozed seduction.
The night’s stand-out performances came from Ethan Jones and Emily Kristopher. Both performers commanded divinely warm vocals and charmed the stage. Kristopher, in a return role, shone with her highly nuanced comic timing.
Leading the naughty night was Stephen Hirst as a leather jacket-wearing, innuendo-wielding, condom-gifting, bad Santa. Hirst was charming, cheeky and at times alarming in the role. His cleverly crafted, innuendo-laden, suggestive sonnet about nights at the North Pole was a highlight of the show.
Directors and writers Alistair Smith, Dan Venz and Matthew Semple had their work cut out for them to inject new comedy and crass in this sixth iteration. Nevertheless, the pair cleverly orchestrated a widely varied cabaret set to a 2022 landscape, with lyrical mentions of Elon Musk and a skit about targeting the millennials with a Tik Tok-influenced rebranding of Santa.
Venz’s choreography ranged extensively – from an intricate ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ spelling out style dance to seductive and cheeky burlesque, to vibrant hip hop. Venz should be commended for capturing each style’s essence and creating an exciting and ever-changing lineup.
The live band comprised of Dominic Woodhead on keys and guitar, Tom Collins on guitar and bass and Chris Evans on drums, all of whom helped pack a punch to the show’s sexy soundtrack and heighten the energy in the theatre.
Between songs stuffed with social commentary, a Christmas Can line, tap dance and a sacrilegious story time of the birth of baby Jesus, ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ has something for everyone… that is, everyone over the age of 18…and not easily offended.
‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ is mischievous escapism for both Christmas lovers and loathers. It breaks the mould of the same songs and movies each festive season has to offer, and instead reignites the spark in our relationship with Christmas keeping it frisky, flirty and fun. Also, it’s a fun chance to hear your favourite Christmas song in a completely new way… that you sure won’t forget anytime soon.
‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ spices up Christmas at La Boite Theatre until Saturday, 17 December 2022. For more information and to book tickets, visit the official ‘A Very Naughty Christmas’ website.
Photography by Joel Devereux.