BOY&GIRL2 – Mercury Rising


boy&girl2 – Mercury Rising

Powerhouse Theatre

January 15 – 24 2015


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward






The return of this highly anticipated production was too much for Sam to resist. Even with his 3:30am wake up, he wasn’t going to miss it! Our friend, Shae, didn’t miss the opportunity to come along either. Testament to the reputation of Emily Gilhome’s Oscar Theatre Co, and the level of respect the company has earned by consistently presenting impressively staged works showcasing Brisbane’s top talent, EVERY SHOW SOLD OUT. AGAIN.


Gilhome knows better than anyone in Brisbane, how to make “sexy” sophisticated and fun, for everyone. It’s never tacky, and a lot of it is so luscious that you might wonder why you’re not already enjoying the benefits of both male and female friends. JUST SAYING. Gender and sexuality become irrelevant; we get the message that we are all equal. AND ALL SEXY. Also, the publicity shots are spot on (Photographer Joel Devereux), featuring barely clad beautiful boys and girls, clearly targeting anyone with blood running through their veins and fifty dollars in their pocket.


Sexy is sexy, regardless of who you are…or who you do.


boy&girl2 – Mercury Rising is a new version of the gender bending cabaret, which we saw in April last year in the Visy. I preferred the intimacy of that smaller space but for others it’s appropriately (much, MUCH!) bigger, and better than ever in the Powerhouse Theatre. BOOM BOOM! With the addition of a mesmerising aerial tissu act and a few subtle changes in the casting and running order, it’s a super sexy, slightly naughty show that could easily be enjoyed every week in the right venue…anyone?


This show is hot, hot, HOT with lots of laughs, svelte bodies and fine voices.


I love Oscar’s sass, but this is a large cast and some performers naturally bring more energy and vibrancy than others can muster. It’s a tight band (Daniel Robbins, Gene Stevens, Justin Bliss and MD Dale Lingwood). They’re settled on stage even when not involved in a musical number, and busy themselves taking iPhone photos of the audience. I don’t know why, when on stage there is THIS:




Thrilling, funny moments come when the performers move through the audience and leap onto cabaret tables to strike a suggestive pose. BRACE POSITION! There are some standout performances once again, including those by Aya Valentine, Garret Lyon, Josh Daveta and Chris Kellett, superbly unsubtle; his best form to date. We see the return of the Disney parody, Helga’s hilarious Avenue Q number (this is when Valentine shines), the rebirth of Beyonce (Lyon’s transformation from ensemble member to superstar), a tantalising tango, and Cell Block Tango from Chicago featuring the boys in the cast.


Choreography by Dan Venz is as impressive as ever; it’s slick, sharp and oh-so-sensual. The bigger numbers, including Cell Block Tango, lose none of their original impact in the much larger space, which looks fabulously shabby and dingy thanks to Falco Fox (Set Designer) and Jason Glenwright (Lighting Designer).


All of this and more (the all-girl boy band is a hit!) after a sassy opening number involving an ensemble strip, boldly led by Chloe Rose Taylor, out of cute flight attendant outfits to reveal strategically worn strips of elastic, straps, bodysuits, bodices and stockings. The suggestion that we are starting out with just a little bit of naughtiness is suddenly shattered! The Hellfire Club effect is achieved largely by allowing individual wardrobe choices, assembled and coordinated under the keen eye of Designer, Joel Devereux.




It’s my hope that she stays here – that we find a way to keep her here – but it goes without saying that Gilhome would not be out of place directing one of the country’s major cabaret festivals, the opening number for the Tony Awards, or Vivienne Westwood’s runway show. She deftly creates top entertainment, Brisbane’s best night out, every time she puts on a production. So it’s no surprise to see the audience lapping it up, almost desperate by the end of it for more, more MORE!


boy&girl2 – Mercury Rising is the sexy sensory overload you might not have realised you needed this year. What better way to begin it than with a bang and a BOOM BOOM?!



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