Reviewed by Cynthia Ning
The Mansion is unlike any traditional burlesque shows you may have seen, and it has landed just in time for Halloween. The unseasonal rain didn’t deter excited theatregoers from the event but rather, elevated the event ambiance with people dressed in costume for the occasion.
We were treated to the prelude of WITCH, and it was simply bewitching. The effortless set design of red drapes, and hovering harness for the aerial stunts had guests wondering what to expect. As the lights dimmed, women dressed in black wandered around the room and watched on as the first Witch made her appearance. We were captivated by the first act, a hair-raising and dizzying experience down to the sultry and surprising ending. The performers oozed sensuality through their lacy lingerie, garter belts, and dazzling gold body suits which gleamed in the spotlight. The audience was entranced and curious to see what horrors The Mansion had in store for them.
As the rain pelted down outside, it didn’t deter from the passionate and well-choreographed contemporary dance sequences that were pivotal to creating a nightmare-like quality in the story. Each character got their moment to shine with solo or duet pieces. There were some moments that were punchy and captivated spectators. The quick snaps of their facial expressions in tune with the music to the dance routine were spine-chilling. Commitment to their spooky personas should be commended as they worked around the audience and delivered with high energy towards the second half of the act.
The lighting was done exceptionally well to keep up with each scene change, matching the pace of the performers and making clever use of blackouts for transitions. It held the mystery of what was to come next and evoked different memories and emotions of each character and ghoul.
There was a cinematic quality to the length and style of the show. Incorporating many aspects of live theatre, circus, burlesque, and film. Although an impressive number of elements were put into the plot, it was a little jarring to go from a whimsical dance recital piece to a monster flash mob. The audience did want to party along and there were some good jump scare moments with the caretaker and masked figures. Love and obsession were key components and each dancer had electric chemistry with one another. The projector played a fragmented tale from the past which tied into the present timeline and connection to the family.
The revolving room, light bulbs, and black bed frame gave the illusion of a spacious and haunted stately home with a bit of tongue and cheek from the speaker and caretaker reminding us to have fun on this wild ride with the residents of The Mansion.
If you are a horror buff and a fan of burlesque, then The Mansion is the place to be.