CONSENSUAL CONNIE’S KARAOKE RODEOKE
FRINGE WORLD FESTIVAL 2020
THE GOLD DIGGER AT FRINGE CENTRAL
Photos by Julian Neil
Are you afraid of singing? Like, getting up in front of friends, let alone total strangers, and belting out your favourite artist’s song in a hesitant, but bold manner?
It’s okay… In fact it is ‘Kara – Okay’, as there is a remedy, a cure.
It comes in the form of a rhinestone cowgirl named Consensual Connie, a persona created by local comedian Rose Kingdom-Barron. Kingdom-Barron has gained a well deserved reputation in the industry, with her work at The Bird, and producing for Gelo and Famous Sharron. This dynamic figure believes and promotes the spiritual, engaging side of Karaoke, encouraging all who attend her show to feel the power of it, be healed by it and to embrace being out of tune.
Kingdom-Barron firmly endorses this throughout as she helps punters to conquer their fears and have a go. “Come for the Kara, stay for the Healing” she enthuses, brandishing a large fluffy pink cowgirl hat and plush horse, named Geoff Gallop. Her partner in crime and ukulele cabaret queen is the renowned performer, Jamie Mykaela. With the addition of her signature energy, comedy and dance moves to an already hectic arena, Mykaela’s performance was delivered with a level of expertise one rarely witnesses.
After a brief delay due to the night’s performances running overtime, the Gold Digger, a ‘little’ Big Top, fills to capacity with audience members completely surrounding the stage. Mykaela assumes her role as pseudo-conductor under the ‘little’ Big Top and introduces ‘Connie.’ She gives everyone a pep talk, then launches into Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’. By halfway through this first song, everyone is joining her at the top of their lungs. Mykaela, madly cavorting behind the music desk, then follows with ABC’s ‘The Look of Love.’
Amongst the punters to put their name down to sing, were Fringe artists Sun-Mi Clyburn and Ben Sutton, who blew the roof off, with renditions of Alicia Keys’ ‘Falling’, and Tenacious D’s ‘Tribute’. Clyburn was pitch perfect; Sutton soared and roared through his song (tunefully). Accompanying each song, resplendent in tight shorts and blue wigs, are dancers Neil and Elijah Graham, famous for their antics in The House of BOK. They showcased their vocal and dance skills (plus grinding and wriggling all over the floor), channelling Madonna & Britney’s ‘Me Against The Music’.
Even the occasional technical hiccup with lyrics not displaying, or songs taking awhile to load and play, were handled with aplomb; For example, Mykaela gave us the very catchy ‘Loading’ song – She is one of the most visually comedic performers you will ever see.
James Palm covered ‘Believe’ by Cher, then lost a lip sync battle/dance-off with Mykaela; Ellen Clancy-Millett gave us a raunchy cowgirl version of Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’ with the assistance of Geoff Gallop. Then there was a stellar performance delivered by local Karaoke royalty, Andy Brown, who sang ‘Hallelujah’. After a brief intermission, the crowd had thinned slightly… maybe it was past someone’s bedtime, although, the seats soon filled again as Charlotte Otton and Ash Traylia belted out Britney’s ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’. A steady stream of fired up audience members sang their faves, then Clyburn joined Connie and Jamie in a final song with Whitney Houston’s, ‘ I Wanna Dance With Somebody’.
As the show drew to a close, the entire audience packed the dance floor and basked in the rainbow lighting –it was as if we were transported right back into the disco scenes reminiscent of our youth. This was an incredible start to Fringe for many, and a great debut show for Connie. Sadly, this show was only on for the opening weekend.
Fear not. Here is a list of shows and dates for the stellar cast involved in the Rodeoke.
Jamie Mykaela, ‘Perth’s Indie-Caberet Queen’ will perform her new show, ‘Daddy’. See this show February 13 -16, at Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den, It will be an amazing show and is not to be missed!! More information here.
James Palm is working with acclaimed performer, Nadia Collins, in her show ‘The Bride’, a darkly funny comedy. Held on February 4 – 8, The Kaos Room@The Blue Room Theatre. More information here.
Charlotte Otton’s show, ’30 Day Free Trial’ will wipe the floor with you. Held February 4 – 8, The Studio at The Blue Room Theatre. More information here.
Ash Traylia, Perth’s least popular drag princess, presents ‘Ash_Traylia t@lks SH!T’ with a lineup of performers from Fringe. Held over Several nights; 31st January, 1st February, then 7-8th February, Deluxe at The Ice Cream Factory. More information here.
Sun-Mi Clyburn will be singing her heart out with the girls, in Flight Of Fancy, a mix of cabaret and burlesque, showing on the 13th February @The Sonar Room, then again from February 10 – 15 at Connections Nightclub.
Finally, Consensual Connie and her Karaoke Kids (Jamie, Neil, Elijah and Ellen) will be staging a takeover of Budgie on the 11th February.
Lots of healing to be done there.
THAT’S GONNA BE A PARTY.