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Wednesday 14 April 2010

Review: BENT - Chch's Little Gay Cabaret

Posted in: Performance
By Andrew Grear - 30th October 2009


The big event in Christchurch over Labour weekend was of course The Globes at The Bedford. But the place to be on Saturday night was without a doubt the Christchurch Bridge Club for BENT – A Little Gay Cabaret.

When one wants a good night out, one doesn't usually start off at a Bridge Club, and on arrival we were a little worried that we weren't going to find a good night there at all. Located on the fringe of the central city it looked bleak as we wandered in. After a hasty trip to the bar things started looking up, three Vodka Lemonades and a packet of chips - $7.50! We were ushered into the hall and seated at tables by two outrageous drag queens acting as our in flight hostesses (and vigorous security staff giving some very thorough pat-downs).

Once everyone was seated, they went through a hilarious safety demonstration and refreshments service ("now, you just stick my hot nuts in your mouth...") which included a game of tits and arse – they flip a coin and you had to guess the outcome by putting your hands on your tits (heads) or your arse (tails), until round three when you had to put your hands on someone else's tits or arse. Once it was whittled down to five people left, they were called onto the stage, and after some very friendly groping one boy eventually won and went back to his table a little less innocent and with a big cock in his hands (of the candle variety).

From there it was onto the main part of the evening. Jeremy Hinman, Leon V'ant Veen Gibbon, Dean V'ant Veen Gibbon, Rhys Patae, Kathleen Burns, Sarah Miller, Prudence Spencer, Jamie Ling, Genevieve Jenson and Daniel Pengelly gave some stunning performances from a variety of musicals. We were treated to songs from Rent, Avenue Q, Chicago and Priscilla as well as some other tidbits. A particular highlight was a male rendition of Kristin Chenoweth's Taylor The Latte Boy, and even better, a response in the form of Daryl the Stalker Guy expertly sung by Daniel Pengelly.

Further highlights included An Old Fashioned Lesbian Love Story, a riotous performance of The More You Ruv Someone with Jamie Ling expertly hamming it up at the beginning. Jeremy Hinman led a great aerobics workout in a rather brief outfit, he got several audience members up onto the stage and guided them through a raunchy routine that they all tackled bravely.

Then the group donned Marie Antionette periodic styled costumes (except a tad more risqué) for their version of Josh Groban's You Raise Me Up with an interesting climax towards the end.

The variety throughout the show was great and things never got boring despite the whole show running for over two hours. I cannot praise the performers enough. The singing really was without fault and I've paid a lot more to hear a lot worse in the past. All in all, BENT - A Little Gay Cabaret equalled a lot of fun.

Andrew Grear - 30th October 2009

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