Sveta Dobranoch and the Brown Bears - From Russia with Lust
Tagline: A tale of vodka, heaving bosoms and song
Vic's Bar, Victoria Hotel, Thursday 1st April 2010
In this show Sveta Dobranoch (Simoncee Page Jones) with the help of the Brown Bears (the Suitcase Royale), tell the sad tale of her upbringing, lost and found love and rising above it all to bring love to everyone.
I was already a fan of Simoncee's work and have been taking photos of her performing around Melbourne for a few years now. Unfortunately, I hadn't been able to make any of her previous shows with this character and it was also the first time I had been to see the Suitcase Royale also.
Rather than adopt the now rather tired "in Soviet Russia…" approach to the material, it was great to see a fully developed character with the Brown Bears also stealing the show at one point with their antics, so I will need to go see it again to find out what Sveta was singing about in that part.
This is not a show to go see if you are a shrinking violet. If you try to hide up the back, Sveta will come and get you, even if it means crawling over the top of the audience to reach you and then falling onto you and demanding she be carried back to the stage. My advice would be to sit in the front row so she walks past you, just be ready to dodge flying vegetables, chairs and fake snow.
Being a big fan of live music I really enjoyed having a live band in the form of the Brown Bears play along to Sveta's songs. There were some covers that fitted the story and a few original songs.
I really enjoyed Sveta's costumes including a spectacular black feathe head dress and the Brown Bears' cute little hats with bear ears.
This is definitely an adults-only show, with Sveta grabbing people's hands to touch her bosom and the bit where she asked people to lick the strawberries off her. I also liked the over the top kissing of the audience members, leaving big lipstick marks over their moosh (I didn't get one - boo!) and the audience was shrieking with laughter when she ended up jumping an audience member on stage and giving him a work-out.
It was a really enjoyable show and definitely earned the standing ovation at the end, you get to throw roses during the final song, which was nice and I will try to make it back before the end of the run hopefully.