Review: Blunderland

Dirty, subversive clubland circus that’s not afraid to be political

cabaret review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Blunderland, courtesy of Underbelly
Published 20 Aug 2022

Cabaret performers have long known that you can rhinestone the hell out of anything and make it art. Yet few have taken it to Blunderland host Eric Schmalenberger’s extremes. When the MC is sheathed in a see through, giant condom, adorned with tasteful-sparkle jizz, you get an idea of what is (potentially literally) coming.

This late-night variety show is a sequinned gross-out absurdity that feels more underground New York than actual New York. It’s also as hot as a psychedelic chemsex sauna orgy. As the Michete score hails, the Blunderland gang are acting slutty while looking bitching.

There is little linking (OK, nothing) the acts apart from a sense of club-kid anarchy, unapologetic thirst-traps and a predilection for hot pink glitter. There’s stunning aerial from Em Chilvers and Leo Pentland, alongside creepy juggling from human-haunted doll Olivia Porter. Mixed with burlesque and Bede Nash’s cocaine-fuelled-gymnast at the world’s-gayest-Butlins routine, it’s a stunning, Queer, messy riot.

And if you’ve ever wondered what Mariah Carey looks like taking a shit, look no further than Australian performance artist Tara Boom. Her conception to abortion clown-grotesque is a political statement on reproductive rights, danced out from atop a toilet in spangled sperm shoes. Blunderland is filthy but not frothy, these freaks put on one seriously clever, subversive show.