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DeLightfully Debauched: Adults-Only Cabaret - Sophie deLightful (Fringe World 2024)

Reviewed by Rachel Doulton


DeLightfully Debauched is a late-night adults-only variety brought to Perth by Sophie deLightful in their Fringe World debut. You enter, promised a show that “show that delivers the juiciest of goods, from racy burlesque and sideshow to ridiculous circus skills and live cabaret prowess”. Each act was astonishing in their skills however there was a lack of cohesiveness in the overall concept of the show, which somewhat watered down the overall description.

A lot of the issues may have been improved in a different venue. The theatre at Planet Royale lacked atmosphere which did not help this show. To walk into the foyer, you were met with dimmed lights and a closed bar and left wondering if the show had been cancelled or if you had gone to the wrong venue. The large, spaced-out auditorium, whilst comfortable, leaves you feeling exposed yourself, especially under the keen eye of our MC, Sophie deLightful. The house music was a mix of club bangers that lent itself to a more modern take on the cabaret tease show however the opening act of our vintage-styled MC singing; accompanied by accordion and trumpet left you whiplashed into the atmosphere of an old-school speakeasy. 

We’re then whipped back into the modern aesthetic with the following act that brought a taste of the debauched. This act, being the opening act, allowed the audience to think that we were in for a wild ride. Each performer to their credit was entertaining and deft in their craft, varying from a titillating sapphic pole act to whips to sexifying the barre, but, in comparison to the opening act, they felt almost tame. The standout act for me was a patriotic fan dance that was accompanied by a vegemite sandwich and high-vis striptease. Ironically it was the most clothed act of the evening. 

The difficulty in any cabaret is to keep the audience engaged and energised. Ms deLightful can be commended on working against the dead atmosphere of the venue to bring back lulls in audience energy. This could be helped further by the pacing between acts; each act began and ended with what felt like prolonged blackouts which seemed to suck the energy of the audience that the performers and worked so hard in amping up. I believe this show could be served better in a more intimate venue and a more thought-out and cohesive concept, as the current presentation leaves something wanting.

Sophie deLightful. Image supplied by theatre company.

Reviewer Note: Tickets for this review were provided by the theatre company.


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