Erotic Tales from the Old Testament from Inque & Quille Productions begins with a very sexy man and a very sexy woman dancing an intense seduction/repulsion scene. At that point I didn’t know who in the Old Testament these characters were supposed to be but the sexiness compelled me to watch, transfixed, and to hoot and holler as the clothes came off.
Unfortunately, not many other people were doing that along with me. Perhaps many of them were Fringers who were unaccustomed to burlesque. Perhaps the lack of a bar played a part, as alcohol tends to aid in hooting and hollering. And I know from personal experience that the more raucous the crowd, the more empowered a burlesque dancer is to strut their stuff.
As the night went on, I became more quiet instead of the rest of the crowd getting more loud with appreciation. Hopefully that was counteracted by the fact that we were outside in the sunlight, where the performers should have been able to easily see our rapt attention. (One of the reasons you need the crowd noise as encouragement in a bar setting is that you can’t see a damn thing that’s off the stage.)
At the end of the first number the woman donned a very gothy cape, and then transferred the cape to another woman, our MC for the evening who introduced herself as Lilith. I took this to mean that the first woman was the dancing-version of Lilith, and that the man was Adam. The MC-Lilith was my least favourite part of the evening as everything she said sounded rehearsed. But the acts more than made up for it.
Next we had Adam and Eve –the same Adam as before, but with a new partner, cleverly covered with a body paint serpent that was revealed more and more as she stripped. She was a competent dancer but what I liked best about her performance her very cheeky facial expressions. Adam’s interaction with her was, like with dancer-Lilith, very very hot.
I may misremember the order of this, but I think next came the singer, manifesting the role of Hagar. She totally blew me away. I wanted to dance, I wanted to (and did) clap along, and I do want her to have a platinum selling album. Her accompaniment was also stellar: I wish I knew all their names to put here, but I don’t.
Then there was the Warrior Queen. I don’t remember what name they used for her but my Googling now makes me think it may have been Kandake. Kandake is from the new testament, not the old, but so is Salome who they also represented later on in the show.
When the Warrior Queen number began I just thought “that’s such a great costume”, but soon I was just as entranced by her body (not in a pervy way… OK, slightly in a pervy way. It is a burlesque show!) I fully believed she was someone who conquered on the battlefield as adeptly as she conquered in the bedroom.
Then we were introduced to Balaam, played by Mysterion the mind-reader, whose act I have seen before many times but it never ceases to be entertaining. I honestly do not know how he does his tricks, nor do I want to: it’s more fun just to be impressed. My favourite moment was when he got a woman to use a tattoo of a superhero way up on his thigh to guess that the secret image another audience member had drawn was a Superman symbol.
The final act was Salome and, as good as the whole show was, they did save one of the best for last. She did a hybrid modern dance/belly dance and every movement was timed to the music perfectly. It was sharp, then sinuous; it was seductive, then threatening. It was fantastic.
- Erotic Tales from the Old Testament is playing in the courtyard of St. George the Martyr Church, 197 John Street
- Performances are:
July 04 08:00 PM
July 05 08:00 PM
July 06 08:00 PM
- Tickets for all Mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only.
- Advance tickets are $11, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062 ext. 1), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West)
- Money-saving value packs are also available; see website for details.
- LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.
Photo provided by Inque & Quille Productions