Melbourne Fringe 2011

Mercedes Benz…Awkwardly

0 Comments 29 September 2011

So you’re doing this for the money? No? Oh so you’re stripping for fun then?

If you are an up yourself business man that loves to spend your early mornings at King St, there is every chance you’ll be in Hannah Williams show. In a refreshing cabaret, Williams sings, dances, acts and for the most hilarious effect, takes you behind the scenes of the stripper world, mimicking both customers and her fellow dancers along the way. She mixes between playing Roberta, Bambi, Bok Choy, Diamond and her own stage name that is Mercedes Benz.

Held in the Revolt Melbourne studios it was like a scene out of Blues Brothers 2000 (that’s the bad version). The studio is surreal, it has a jungle feel with fake rocks on the walls and velvet couches everywhere.

Williams performs up on stage with the rows of audience in darkness. There is a stripper pole with a disco ball spinning in the background.  The room was packed with 50 odd people, middle aged women and younger men seemed the norm.

With one-way conversations at the audience, Williams says that it’s easier to get a guys money by talking briefly about that weeks footy scores than to talk dirty. She also shows the awkwardness of having a cold while dancing on stage and that strippers can fall asleep at work too.

Williams makes mistakes at times, but this is her first full length show. For an hour remembering countless stories and doing the voices isn’t easy.

The first half was hilarious and while the humour doesn’t drop off (the middle-aged ladies laughter will attest to that) the second half makes you feel slightly sorry for Williams and those in her profession.

She describes the fear on a night out that a guy is looking at her because he recognises her as a stripper. While the other girls and Bok Choy particularly were in relationships while performing, Williams says she cannot do it.

At the end Williams gets changed on stage, removing her makeup. It is a reminder that strippers are normal people, they enter the real world after their last dance too. The show was a mixture of entertaining, clever and awkward. The thunderous applause that Williams receives shows she has won the audience over too.

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