MIDSUMMA: Uncovered (3 stars)

First impressions most certainly counted at Uncovered’s opening night performance on Wednesday night. There were a select amount of tables at the front of the stage and the usher chose my friend and I for the VIP treatment. When a glass of champagne was placed in front of us both, we were excited for what was to come.

Uncovered is one of the many plays taking over Gasworks Arts Park for the next three weeks as part of Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival. As the official website states, Midsumma is Melbourne’s annual Queer Celebration: “a federation of arts and cultural events spread over 85 different venues throughout Melbourne and Regional Victoria.”

Uncovered was an unexpected circus-like performance, featuring Dave Coombs, Alex Jean, Mark Graham, Shannon Vitali and Emily Gare. As the only female presence on stage, Gare acted like an MC of sorts, which made the performance more cohesive. The show consisted of acts: a cast of one, two or all performing to an interesting array of music. Many of the acts had one underlying theme – love. These were interspersed with fun and sexy performances (tasteful nudity included).

Director/choreographer Coombs’ playlist included remixed versions of Anaconda, Gangsta’s Paradise, Let Me Love You and Toxic. As the songs played, the dancers grooved, flung themselves through hula hoops, dangled from aerial ropes, and gripped aerial hoops. The performances were entertaining and riveting, with a little bit of audience participation thrown in for good measure.

Unfortunately there were a few kinks that still needed to be ironed out for an overall smoother performance. Hopefully the incidents were just down to opening night jitters, as the remainder of the show had the audience laughing, clapping, and wanting more.

When: 27th – 30th January 2016 (8pm)

Where: Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park, MELBOURNE

Tickets: Standard $28, Concession $22

Info: Duration 60 minutes; wheelchair accessible; contains partial nudity, smoke and haze effects, and strobe lighting

Link: https://www.gasworks.org.au/event/uncovered/