Chastity Belt *****
By Peta Lily
Directed by Di Sherlock
Lion &Unicorn Theatre
42-44 Gaisford St, London NW5 2ED
Call + 44 20 7267 2304 Tickets £11
Thur 6th, Fri 7th, Mon 19th October 8pm,
Running time 60 minutes with no intermission
The Feeling Very Good Factor
In this small, but respected pub theatre in North London there is a performance that is worth the ticket to London from just about anywhere. The extraordinary talent that is Peta Lily has given forth a dazzling display of original writing, performance and plain genius. She markets the mind blowing piece as ‘set on the battle ground between trust and lust’, and last night’s laugh-out-loud response proved she is slaying her audiences. But don’t take my word for it, you have to see it.
The show is packed with sensational scenes and naughty but very nice suggestion, but principally, it is the last word in brilliant, devastatingly daring acting, singing and mime, in the highest tradition of burlesque. If burlesque is defined as ‘a humorous and provocative stage show featuring slapstick humor, comic skits, bawdy songs, striptease acts, and a scantily clad female chorus’, Chastity Belt is the most sublime burlesque show in this or any other town.
Miss Lily’s current offering is the third part of a trilogy, the other two parts being Topless and Midriff. As you might expect, the slide down the woman’s body now finds us where she truly lives (or doesn’t as the case may be).
No-one in history is safe from the piercing Lily treatment. With priceless wit and daring, she invokes the goddess Diana, gives a startling evocation of Hindu Goddesses Durga and Kali and the Buffalo Demon (told as American movie), she mourns the death of Matriarchy, updates Lysistrata, celebrates rakish behaviour and performs her utterly captivating songs, whether a ranchy blues number or torch song.
In her busy life, Miss Lily teaches vibrant theatre courses where people unlock their performing energy. She demystifies the rules of comedy and helps people stretch their emotional range. I can testify to the brilliance of her unique Clown and Dark Clown courses, which have liberated actors with powers they never knew they possessed.
Peta Lily has toured the UK, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Europe. It is high time she allowed both West End and Broadway audiences in on the act. It is not to be missed.