Head downstairs at The Butterfly Club for a video gamed adventure through bad break up stories with vaudevillian performer Clara Cupcakes (Elly Squire). The critically acclaimed performer is on her latest tour de force, following a Golden Gibbo nomination and two previous and well received shows, her big hair and magical flair is back. Her pink and purple world of whimsy begins in the summer of 2001, with the tale of an octopus who just wants to find love in the crazy world. The video game was unplayable, unbeatable: a metaphor perhaps for her bad breakup the video game follows. Stories of stalking, created pregnancies, breaking into the house they shared and more: she shares the worst stories of break ups, some she claims are hers, but not all of them.
You have found: a winning show! With a full house, all the way up to the bar, its standing room only on opening night with brings Squire to tears- overwhelmed with the reception and support of the show, performed on this night for only the second time ever.
Audience interaction is cheeky, as she bounces throughout the room selecting four attractive young males to join her in a “plenty more fish in the sea” dance party. Clad as a pink and purple octopus, with all the allure, curves and hair of Marilyn Munroe, the one woman show begins with Clara Cupcakes emerging from her big pink clamshell to start her adventure (she starts on stage hidden in the shell while the audience cram into the room!), complete with scroll and really useless sidekick shrimp.
Clara Cupcakes is beyond endearing and adorable. She’s bubbly, high pitched and energetic, bouncing around the room with hardly a moment to take a breath or stand still. Hyper manic and fevered energy is contagious, as she tackles all the issues of being a young woman in this day and age, and all the awkwardness that can come with it. She’s sassy and sparkly and I’d really like to write her an alphabet of alliterated compliments, as she is one of the most energetic, delightful and unique performers I have encountered. She’s beautiful, she’s graceful, she’s kooky and she’s funny, but she’s also real and endearing and relatable.
Directed by the fabulous Geraldine Quinn, of whom I also have far too many compliments for, and whole crew of fabulous other people, this show is complete with niche references to gaming and CSI Miami, the thoughts of every young women’s break up, ever, captured in 90s video game format and even a little song played on cupcake shaped ukulele. “Sexy octopus strip tease” is a combination of words I never thought I’d write, but there you go, this show has so much to offer it’s enthralled audiences.
A few tech cues are a little slow for opening night, but the tech itself is so well done, so complicated but well thought out, incorporating a massive use of sound effects, voice overs, music and video presentations all around the video game theme: all the way down to Liam, the tech guy, taking the game out, blowing on it and putting it back in to kick off the show.
This has been one of my favourite shows of the festival so far and I highly recommend it to all- it runs until of April at the butterfly Club, and has a bright future ahead of it touring, at fringe festivals and wherever the fabulous Clara Cupcakes takes it next. Strap on your ‘Start Game’ buttons and get your tickets at: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-worst-1