Velvet Helmet Presents…Best In Show!


Velvet Helmet Presents…Best In Show!

Brisbane Powerhouse and Velvet Helmet

Brisbane Powerhouse Visy Theatre

Thursday December 3 2015


Reviewed by Katelyn Panagiris



Velvet Helmet Presents…Best In Show! is a one night event combining comedy, circus, theatre and music. Velvet Helmet is an underground group of artists, bringing together the best talent from around Brisbane for an event on the second Wednesday of every month at the New Globe Theatre.

Having attended these events before, I was interested to see if the essence of these monthly events could be distilled into an hour long performance in a vastly different venue. I believe that, for the most part, Velvet Helmet have successfully transported this joyful and inclusive feeling to the Brisbane Powerhouse’s Visy Theatre.
From the moment we enter the theatre, we are included in the party, greeted by colourful performers and donned with colourful party hats. We take our seats to the jazzy tunes of The Ragtag Band, comprised of musicians Wayne Jennings, Richard Grantham, Alice Wheeler and James Lees. The band perfectly underscores the evening, mirroring the peaks and troughs of the acts. The first act is a performance by our host Ava Marianna (Pitsi Hatcher) who serenades us with her booming vocals. Like any great host, she keeps the audience engaged and enthusiastic throughout the evening.
Next up we welcome Pain Proof Pixie (Rebekah Yeo) for a dazzling sideshow performance with her set of hoola hoops. However, this is just the introduction to a later display of impressive hip twisting with the inclusion of a nail studded hoola hoop (ouch!). The following act is Gary Nostrils (Tim Monley), educating the audience on ‘nostril yoga’, ‘nostril chakras’ and other tounge-in-cheek plays on what we may expect from a guru of our times. Following this we have the shy, heart-broken clown Earnest (Phoebe Manning) who invites a few audience members to re-enact a rather strange, but ultimately hilarious, dream. Finally, we are treated to a circus performance from our host Ava Marianna as she traverses a tight rope whilst simultaneously belting her heart out.
Velvet Helmet…Best In Show! evidently presents a variety of acts with something to offer for everyone. The audience are clearly engaged throughout the evening, with a constant roar of laughter rising from the seating banks. This is testament to our enthusiastic host and a well-structured evening that allows opportunities for the audience to admire the spectacle, as well as actively participate in certain acts. In saying this, it was clear that some randomly selected “audience members” weren’t so randomly selected and as such it would’ve been nice to see the artists embrace the risk of an unknown participant.

Overall, Velvet Helmet…Best In Show! is a comedic and fun evening, providing the sense that we are part of something greater – a night of celebration alongside a community of passionate artists performing to enthral and entertain us.




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