Arts & Entertainment

Review: Velvet

Velvet_Sydney Opera House

Marcia Hines and Brendan Maclean in Velvet.

Sydney’s opening night of Velvet had me dancing in my seat, grinning like a fool and left me with a coating of glitter (traces of which I’m certain will linger for weeks to come). You know a show is something special when you can sense the joy and affection amongst the cast, and see that their smiles on stage are actually genuine.

Don’t expect any time wasted on dialogue that isn’t singing, and don’t expect the subtle side-plot to be very obvious for the first half of the show – just expect pure, unadulterated fabulousness, liberally sprinkled with sequins and wrapped up in a thumping disco soundtrack. Velvet is variety and cabaret done right, and a testament to an often-parodied genre of music.

Velvet is a state of mind, it’s a fantasy. It’s an evening of watching tremendous looking people in sparkly outfits with obscure and astounding performance talents, and hearing some of the most astounding live singing voices may ever hear. Marcia Hines shows why she still claims the crown of Australia’s ‘Disco Queen’, belting out some classic hits as she acts as a kind of ‘fairy god mother’ guiding a nervous shirt-and-tie-wearing Brendan Maclean through a coming of age journey.

This journey however is second to an tremendous series of variety acts that bear witness to some amazing physical skills and raw talents (all set to disco, of course). Prepare yourself for a take on ‘It’s Raining Men’ that gives Magic Mike a run for it’s money, shocking aerial and acrobatic feats, a schooling in burlesque, interesting ways to get dressed (and undressed), and the closest experience you’ll get to an S&M club at the Opera House. The unexpected show stealer is Scotland’s Craig Reid (aka ‘The Incredible Hula Boy’) whose charisma and skill with hula hoops knows no bounds.

Maclean’s acoustic cover of The Bee Gee’s ‘Stayin’ Alive’ is an astounding surprise, showcasing why Brendan is carving himself a mark in the entertainment industry and has earned the praise of Baz Lurhmann.

Allow Velvet to transport you to a boogie wonderland.

Until Nov 1. The Studio, Sydney Opera House. $35-$89. Tickets & info: or

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