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A WET AND WILD SAFARI

 

As you make your way up the stairs into 24 Moons, Northcote, you're greeted by our most responsible animal handler Charlotte De Sade. Tickets are checked, drinks are bought and after a welcome to country, there's a welcome to absurdity from Penelope Splendour perfectly setting the scene with an Attenborough rasp.


The jungle décor of the bar, a perfect backdrop for the theme of the show but the creatures you're about to meet are no usual jungle encounters.

The doors to the main stage open, and lining the path to your seats are 7 of the most majestic show-peens you'll ever witness. They form a guard of honour and the experience begins.


Jayden Byrne captures the weird and wonderful wildlife at our Wet Safari. Not fooled by their cunning camouflage, he found the wood among the trees.

What kind of fever dream Birthed the Safari?


This show was a leap into the unknown for our performers and producer, having mostly followed a standard variety show format before for our debut shows and the PosseVision saga. This time Rassputin's vision was to build something like a Jurassic Park, but we (the performers) are the dinosaurs and Penelope Splendour is our Richard/David Attenborough tour guide.


Inspired by underground alt clubs, bohemian parties and creating a space to do more than just a quick routine and curtain call, the idea was to give more time in between acts for performers to dance and interact with the audience in a looser, roving style and really get into embodying the characters we bring to our stage performances. This also came with the added bonus of bringing our chaotic music selection to the fore, mixing the Wiggles with Eurovision and Sexy Back to really bring people into our surreal world and throwing the GoGos the wildest curveballs to dance to.


The Divine GoGo dancers bring an audience member on stage for a heavenly time.


Why add Roving to an already big show?


Burlesque lends itself as an artform to being up close and personal with the audience, and the quality of many Wet Posse costumes hold up to closer investigation. The enchanting creations of Jan Hell and Rassputin's 16 year old hand-beaded dragon need more than a distant flash on stage to be admired in all their glory.


Equally impressive and deserving more time for indulgence are the characters of Miss Lulu Lipstick's sauntering Oogie Boogie, Mx Lucy Furr's anxiety-riddled Beaker, Nyx Noir's impressive No Face and the ridiculous, but certified organic fruit salad combination of Taco and Rassputin.


"Sometimes I just want to dance to a different song without making and booking a bloody new routine" - Rassputin

Oogie boogie looking for more than just a Sandy-claws to bring to Halloween town


Who are these shows meant to be for?


Primarily, Us. The performers involved. Our shows are about our own joy and our community as a hectic pile of weirdos who love being in front of an audience. But through that, we want to bring the audience, especially fellow performers, into our joy.


"Everyone is a Wet Posse Member, they just haven't bought the shorts yet."

During the freeform segments, the audience were encouraged to dance, move around, and get selfies with the performers if they wished, to head to the bar and just to relax into the setting. The main purpose for exploring this format over a purely sit and watch show, is because we in Rassputin's Wet Posse are all about breaking down barriers and providing a space for adults to play and for every person to feel like they can be as silly as they like without judgement or expectations. We want to encourage every person who has wanted to dance or perform, but thought they didn't look right, or had missed their chance, to give it a go and find a place in a community that will embrace them.


While our shows involve ripping our pants off and thrusting at every opportunity, the performances aren't about titillation (even though our performers are Steaming Hot Potatoes) instead we're all about fierce self expression and self-acceptance. We embrace everything we are to inspire others to see the space we create as a space for absolutely every body. Diversity in every form is something to be cherished and celebrated and seeing a full range of human forms just makes for a more interesting show.


We want you, your dad and your grandma to all feel like they could be a part of our silly group.



The glitter crash was almost an extinction event


If you're open to anyone performing, does that mean there's less quality than other shows out there?


Firstly, the emerging and semi-established alt. performer scene in Melbourne is excessively talented and we've got all of them in our barrel of monkeys plus a few of the crusted on Icons. We can guarantee you've seen our performers in fancy shows, winning competitions, getting Awkward Boner awards and touring nationally and internationally.


We're pretty dang good. And we know Barbie trivia.


But there's no way for a performer to really improve and grow than giving them space to perform. Competitions and criteria aren't as valuable as getting out there in front of a genuine audience and finding out, even though your costume malfunctioned or you forgot a move, they still had a great time.


Beyond what gets put on stage, we're there for each other, ready to give advice and assistance wherever it's needed to make sure the whole performing community thrives together.


I told you we had hot potatoes


What was with the potatoes?

Or: There were potatoes?!

Come to the show next time, you really missed out.


Pomme De Terror is a top ranked Hide-and-Seekist in the Australian Hall of Fame and it seemed right to celebrate this fact by hiding potatoes. People love a good potato hunt and folks won prizes!


Yes, we will probably do something similar again, and another best-dressed with a ridiculous theme.


Done just like they do it on the Discovery Channel


Would you do anything differently?


Yes. As expected from any experiment, there were growing pains and the Posse has stretchmarks from how rapidly we've expanded in less than a year. We needed an event manager, and now one of our animal handlers has been promoted for just that purpose.


The arrangements of breaks to performances will also shift next time, with a much clearer intention behind the roving segments and more ways to get involved in them. Balloon animals? Lyra Performances? Caricatures? POPCORN? Who knows?

Roving and stage performances will be distinctly separate, and we won't make Lucy Furr do 5+ bits in a row even if they really want to.


Plus, we will commit to seating from the start because you all do love a good sit down when there aren't potatoes to find.


And the theme will be different, of course with a fresh mix of acts, performers and shenanigans to fit.



Head of the Posse Science Department, Mx Lucy Furr


So what's next?


First up, for the Wet Posse: we're back to basics with 3 variety shows in the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Three different line-ups with different themes. So if you want to support or see the incredible acts without any of the funny business of our new shows, go along to those.


Meanwhile Rassputin and Mx Lucy Furr will be touring the UK from Edinburgh to the Clapham Fringe Festival, then to Sydney for the ABF, Chromefest and Karen's Diner through October.


THEN the planning begins on the next big one. We're bringing the circus to town. Watch this website and our Instagram for updates when they happen!


PLUS videos of the Safari to come from our brilliant Videographer, Luke Eden


Until then, enjoy this gallery of wildlife photography by Jayden Byrne


Solicited Dick Pics

Carnelian, Artemis Allure and Whisky Kitten

Jan Hell

Mx Lucy Furr

Miss Lulu Lipstick

Nyx Noir

Penelope Splendour

Pomme De Terror

Rassputin

Taco

JurASSic Park

Others