Velvet Marcia Hines and Brendan Maclean photo by Tony VirgoWith a generous mix of impressive acrobatics, amazing vocals, combined with pulsating discotheque soundtrack of new and reimagined classics, VELVET, currently playing at The Coopers Malthouse, is one crowd-pleasing spectacular that confounds expectations and delivers on all accounts

With more than a nod to New York’s infamous Studio 54 nightclub, director Craig Ilott transports the audience into a hedonistic wonderland that features legendary diva Marcia Hines and singer Brendan Maclean alongside an outstanding ensemble including aerialist Emma Goh, muscle man Stephen Williams, acrobat  Mirko Köckenberger, Hula Hooper extraordinaire Craig Reid, vocalists Chaska Halliday and Rechelle Mansour, and DJ / percussionist Joe Accaria.

The energy never wanes as disco anthems such as Boogie Wonderland, If You Could Read My Mind, I Fell Love, No More Tears and It’s Raining Men are mixed with songs that Hines’ is known for including Never Knew Love Like This Before and You – demonstrating she is still one classy lady who delivers, sounding as good, if not better than before. However, it is Maclean’s wonderfully reflective Bee Gees hit, Stayin’ Alive, that delivers the knockout blow amongst all the glitz and glam.

Production values are impressive, as the acts come thick and fast. From Stephen Williams’ swoon-worthy feats of strength, Craig Reid’s cheeky hula-hooping, Emma Goh’s graceful aerial routines through to Mirko Köckenberger acrobatic agility, only momentarily does the pace slow enough to allow the audience to catch its collective breath.

Director: Craig Ilott Cast: Joe Accaria, Emma Goh, Chaska Halliday, Marcia Hines, Mirko Kockenberger, Brendan Maclean, Rechelle Mansour, Craig Reid, Stephen Williams Choreographer: Lucas Newland Lighting Designer: Matthew Marshall Set and Costume Design: James Browne Wardrobe / Assistant Stage Manager: Melanie Nicholls

Merlyn Theatre – The Coopers Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Performance: Friday 25 March 2016 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 17 April 2016

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Marcia Hines and Brendan Maclean in VELVET – photo by  Tony Virgo

Review: Rohan Shearn