The Miss Behave Gameshow.Credit:Prudence Upton

Arts Centre Melbourne, until January 27

Need to cut loose? This anarchic game show, fresh from Vegas, has audiences going wild.

Hosted by Miss Behave, outrageous alter ego of world-renowned sword-swallower Amy Saunders, the show divides the audience in half – the iPhones against, um, “The Bananas”, on the night I went – and whichever team gets the most points wins.

Tiffany.Credit:Prudence Upton

The show relies on a camp, bargain-basement subversion of the standard game show format, and the gender reversal works a treat. Miss Behave is a commanding presence, keeping things on track while allowing maximum room for improvisation (and woke wisecracks).

Her lovely assistant, Tiffany, is a hipster contortionist with flowing locks, a Salvador Dali moustache and enough body art to start a tattoo museum.

Tiffany’s antics set a mischievous tone. There’s a limber performance art ode to procrastination, set to Wilson Phillips’ Hold On (For One More Day), and a smutty duet with a cutout of Britney Spears.

The burlesque and compulsive twerking invites shameless objectification – and equally shameless flirting with the audience, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your significant other, if you have one.

Amy Saunders, otherwise a sword-swallower and… uh…Credit:Prudence Upton

The “rules”, such as they are, encourage active participation and creative chaos and include self-evident truths (life isn’t fair) as well as more existential ones (life has no meaning).

Some rounds resemble a special episode of RocKwiz, focused on an early '90s mixtape of "guilty pleasures". Others require more nous; the chutzpah to cheat, or to make a spectacle of yourself.

Although you should bring your mobile if you want the full experience (a few rounds require them, and you can text or send images for all-important bonus points) the technological aspect isn’t nearly as big a part of the show as what you’re willing to do live.

Witty heckling scores well, as do full-throated sing-a-longs and party tricks. And there was one spontaneous break-dancing solo, during a section called “Do anything for a point”, that had the whole room cheering with crazed abandon.

The Miss Behave Gameshow is a shaggy beast and I sometimes hankered for a more crafted performance, or at least a more considered frame.

But as the world goes, so goes our theatre, and it’s certainly a show that speaks to the chaotic and contested cultural moment.

Miss Behave, left, and Tiffany.Credit:Prudence Upton

Spots of burlesque, circus, comedy and stage magic are interspersed throughout, yet the audience provides at least half the fun.

It’s one variety night where your readiness to play, to reach out and take the kind of evening you want to have, will be crucial to your enjoyment.

Source: Read Full Article