BWW Review: TOPLESS: THE PATH TO EXTINCTION, Live At Zédel
Seduction, sleaze and farce are just a few words to describe TOPLESS: The Path to Extinction. The mysterious night creatures GINGZILLA and Cazeleon hatched onto the East London club scene a few years ago, and are quickly rising as a favourite in the cabaret circuit both in the UK and internationally.
We are taken on a journey through time, and follow the amphibians' adventures as they escape their primal home for a more prosperous life in London. Fighting to prevent extinction, they search for freedom, finding it within one another. However, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows, as the capital brings a heap of new challenges that must be overcome.
The audience is straddled, toyed with and used as stagehands, yet it is never too invasive. One lady is made to hold a hand fan whilst Cazeleon rises like a phoenix. As GINGZILLA crams chicken and chips into their gob, Cazeleon then sings a sultry rendition of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)".
The blend of grotesque humour and impassioned power ballads is just what is needed to keep us on our toes. You never truly know what's going to happen next. It's funny and tongue-in-cheek, whilst at the same time somewhat moving.
The campiness has poignant undertones, and the pair's ability to evoke emotion is impressive. Originally from Australia, a country currently voting on the legalisation of gay marriage, the duo makes a case for the importance of the existence of safe spaces.
The hour goes by almost too quickly; an encore is provided, but even that isn't enough. There are a few slip-ups during performance, but surely that's the point of cabaret? It's alive and unpredictable. A show full of glamour and debauchery, it's a welcome addition to the queer scene.
TOPLESS: The Path to Extinction was Live at Zédel on 17 September
Photo credit: Roy Tan