Monthly Archives: September 2018

Melbourne Fringe 2018: Bella Green is Charging for it

Courthouse Hotel, Tuesday 25th September 2018

Opening night show – SOLD OUT

I had seen this show advertised on Twitter and listened to Josh Earl’s “Don’t You Know Who I Am?” podcast that Bella was a guest on and wanted to go see this show even though I was not going to much else at the Fringe festival due to not working.

Meshel Laurie did a couple of shows based around her experiences working as a receptionist at a brothel back in the early 2000’s but there hasn’t really been anything since then and nothing by a sex worker.

The show follows Bella’s life from when she was growing up to her first job in the industry in a peep show, what happened when she was working there that she ended up in a strip club and other normal jobs she had.

After having trouble holding down a ‘normal’ job, she decides to go work at a brothel and we meet the fairy godmother who guides her through the things she should know.

There are some skits based on working in the brothel, but I will let you see those for yourself. During the costume changes Bella asks the audience to hold her work phone and some funny text messages she has received are displayed on screen.

Bella also worked as a mistress in a sex dungeon for a time and the story she tells about that experience is quite something.

There was a line about people reviewing sex workers online and the fake website (no doubt someone will register that) and also a mention of sex workers twitter accounts.

It was a good show with plenty of funny bits and hopefully it does well in the festival and goes on to feature at the comedy festival and other festivals also.

There were two other people in the show who played various roles but I do not know who they are as yet.

I had not heard of Bella Green before this show, but hopefully she goes on to do more shows and has heaps more shows.

Melbourne Fringe 2018: After Hours Cabaret Club

Lithuanian Club, Saturday, 22 September 2018

Featuring MC Tash York, Bettie Bombshell, Samora Squid, Memphis Mae, Raven Dark Prince Of Burlesque, Luke Hubbard 

I had originally heard about this show from following performers on social who were in it at Edinburgh Fringe and was hoping to see them as part of the show in Melbourne. It was not to be as one of them is still on holidays and the other could not make it this time.

It had been quite a few years since I had gone to see any burlesque apart from Dr Sketchys and I wasn’t taking photos this time I just wanted to enjoy the show.

There was a live band doing the backing music for most of the routines except for two performers who had their own music. It added more energy to the show and was good for the audience to have something to listen to on the way in and exiting the venue.

Tash York was a great MC and got to sing a couple of times. There was even an improvised number based on suggestions from the audience.

Bettie Bombshell did a couple of routines and was well received. Her bra ended up in my lap.

Samora Squid from Penguin Tasmania did some neat tricks with his body including dislocation and making his arms go floppy. He ended up playing the mandolin in an interesting position.

Memphis Mae did an ode to McDonalds burlesque routine and rubbed foodstuffs on her. At one point she threw chicken nuggets into the audience and had some back and forth with one audience member who she wouldn’t give the nugget to. At the end there was a give-away with two lucky audience members getting to tear off a Monopoly ticket from her McDonalds merkin.

I had heard a lot about Raven but had never gotten to see her perform. His routine was unique in that he was already stripped and spent most of it behind the fringe of a giant hat with red tassels hanging down framing his body. It was a great routine and I am sure I will see him again.

Luke Hubbard is a circus performer who has performed with BRIEFS and many other shows. He did some spectacular tumbles and balancing in his act and has performed in very small spaces in the past. A fine act to finish the show with.

It was a great show and well worth seeing if it comes to somewhere near you.

Big Brother (2018)

Director: Ka-Wai Kam

Starring: Donnie Yen, Joe Chen, Kang Yu, Brahim Achabbakhe, Wai-Ho Auyeung, Tom Caserto, Alfred Cheung, Jai Day, Ye Fan, Semiquaver Iafeta, Tin-Lung Koo

Donnie Yen stars as Henry Chen, a mysterious teacher who turns up to a run-down school and is assigned the worst class. The students ignore him at first, but through his persistence he gradually gets through to them.

When five of his students are expelled for fighting in a restaurant he goes out his way to help them, but one of them does not want to be helped.

The school is also in jeopardy as it is threatened with being closed by the school board due to the poor performance of its students and low enrolments.

After helping the other students, Henry goes to the one who did not come back to school and through a series of events ends up fighting a UFC champion and his crew in the locker room of a stadium. He ends up famous and his students think he is cool.

Everyone is getting ready for the DSE exam and even the former wayward students are studying hard. One student is not going very well and his actions lead to some dire consequences. The big boss of a triad gang also has his eyes on the school for a property development deal and sends over his heavies. Who will win out?

This was a good movie even though the trailer makes it look like there is more action than is actually in the movie. Donnie was great as the lead and the kids stood their ground and each of the main characters had their own story.

I was worried when I saw Wong Jing’s name in the credits at the start of the movie, but he was only one of the producers and none of his usual shenanigans seem to have ended up in the film.

It did remind me of other movies with inspirational teachers but with some different things like the teacher being able to fight the bad guys.

I enjoyed the scene with the go karts where the girl and her father decide to race through the streets to prove a point. Donnie ends up chasing them in a go kart himself. Surely they would not have been allowed to leave the circuit?

There is a sort of bad guy in the movie but his story is explained and he does get a resolution at the end of the story.

An interesting movie if you like stories about inspiring figures and school life.