Variety show The Crack features some famous names from the London cabaret circuit alongside European stars. What will the audiences in the Swedish capital make of them? Sana Ng reports.
Where else other than the bantam bohemian theatre of Södra Teatern, Stockholm’s oldest theatre, would The Crack feel more at home? The green and gold interior and some 400 red velvet seats provided an intimate and sumptuous setting for this mischievous and titillating evening.
Don’t expect to get too cosy in those plush armchairs, though. As Miss Behave, a red latex clad deviless, growls: “this is not theatre, this is variety!” Lie back, keep your eyes peeled and take what’s coming to you: this is a show where expectations should be left hung up on a coat peg in the cloakroom.
Miss Behave promises us a naughty experience, where teasing and timing are of the essence, and she, with six cohorts, does this so well. The audience is warmed up by Kalki Hula Girl as a teenage disco-pop princess in sequined hot pants and bikini. Although the lass appears to be boozed-up on vodka, she superbly rocks innumerable hula-hoops.
The Crack reels out talent after talent. Vaudeville painter Jon Hicks keeps everyone entranced as he turns the stage temporarily into his Elvis-inspired atelier. There’s a hip-hop burlesque routine from Kiki Kaboom and ping pong ball popping from Paul Morocco. Another highlight is Mr Jones and his cigar-chomping pig. There’s a certain magnetic charm from Jones and his porcine assistant as they go through a succession of hilarious debacles to the sounds of Tom Jones’ Sex Bomb.
Last but never least is Miss Behave herself, an MC who is so much more. She has the silver-tongued repartee down pat but, as her expert sword-swallowing shows, she can do far more with those lips than just crack gags.
This little darling of a variety show is a gem which shines in a way that many grand theatre shows simply cannot. It is The Crack’s amazing ability to directly engage with its audience on a personal level and thrill them by interjaculating the unexpected into its performances which is what is so utterly delightful about it.
The Crack. Hosted by Miss Behave. Södra Teatern, 116 46 Stockholm. Continues through to 28 April. http://riksteatern.se