Sydney’s boys are taking back the stage in this year’s only all-boy burlesque night in Surry Hills.
With the recent success of their Sydney Fringe shows, and live music burlesque event ‘Good Ol’Days’, Gallery Burlesques’ “Boylesque Extravaganza”, Oh Boy Oh Boy, promises to be a night of steamy debauchery.
Gallery Burlesques’ founder/director, Onur Karaozbek, said: “Oh Boy Oh Boy is a celebration of male presence in the performance art and burlesque community, a night of all men/boys on stage showing how great we can be… and a little about taking back the stage from all the beautiful burlesque ladies.”
“The most obvious difference of Oh Boy is that there will be more testosterone on stage. It’s all up to the boys to shock and entertain us.”
Gallery Burlesque has been alive and kicking since early 2009 and Mr Karaozbek believes every performer brings something unique.
Herbie Strangelove has been performing burlesque for eight years.
“I didn’t feel that heterosexual male sexuality was being performed accurately, it’s actually ludicrous and demeaning, and so I set out to do it accurately, without undermining myself,” he said.
“With Boylesque, the audience is expecting something different, because there’s no real classic context, there’s more room to explore ideas and characterisation.”
“No matter what the gender is of the performer I try to look for a creative mind and an entraining character, because burlesque is not just about the strip but about the tease and story” Mr Karaozbek said,
Another performer, Matthius The Libidinous, describes his act as “Sexy, fast paced, slightly tongue-in-cheek Boylesque”. His shows always involve over-the-top costumes and are bursting with rough and raw masculine sexual energy.
“I also like to push boundaries of what the accepted symbols of “Masculinity” and ramp them up until they become quite camp in order to demonstrate that gender is always a performance whether on stage or off,” he said.
“Me dressing up as a cowboy or business man is just as much “Gender Illusion” as any drag queen putting on a frock and pantomiming femininity.
“I am very focused on challenging the status quo with my performance. In the context of our western culture where men are prescribed to be the pursuer and women are almost brainwashed into believing they must present themselves as sexual objects, the mere act of a man getting on stage and presenting himself as sexy, and able to be desired is confronting.”
You can catch Herbie, Matthius and the other boys at The Standard above Taylor Square on Sunday, January 29.
By Jason Marshall