The Haus Of Kunst
Crescent – The Vaults
Reviewed – 12th March 2020
“Valore’s routine is an absolute showstopper and would be the perfect closer”
The Haus of Kunst is a collective of diverse artists from dancers and singers to burlesque and pole dancers. Set in a prohibition-era bar, the Haus of Kunst treats the audience to an array of acts, all of which straddle the line between cabaret, burlesque and circus.
The show is rather slow to start with the drag king presenter Don McNasty performing a far from energetic rendition of No Diggity by Blackstreet ft. Dr Dre and Queen Pen. After ten minutes of back and forth, the actual show begins, opening strong with an incredible dance featuring burlesque feather fans from the sultry Cleopanther. After this, the Sweet Peas, two women dressed identically all in green, perform a cutesy but technically challenging flapper-style dance. The ‘world renowned’ tiger tamer Diva Hollywood takes to the stage next executing impressive whip tricks featuring an (un)lucky member of the audience.
Following this, Miss Laurie, who until now has provided musical accompaniment on the keyboard, sings a humorous song about how everything she does is for attention. Though funny, Laurie unfortunately forgot a large chunk of the song. The Sweet Peas then return for their second dance, this time stage fighting while balancing in pots and pans. The show closes with dancer Kitty Valore performing an exceptional pole routine to the song ‘Kiss the Girl’ from Disney’s The Little Mermaid followed by a final dance from Cleopanther to a medley of rap songs. Valore’s routine is an absolute showstopper and would be the perfect closer.
The set is relatively simple, but it’s barren nature rather conjures up the image of a once-great venue trying to find its feet again. A plain black backdrop and unadorned furnishings do not exactly make the upcoming performances seem like they’re going to be particularly exhilarating. Some more colour would go a long way in piquing the audience’s curiosity. Also, rather strangely, the acts all sit at the back of the stage throughout the entire show which detracts somewhat from the current performer. Exciting-looking acts waiting in the wings naturally attract an audience’s eyes and it would be nice if each act got their moment in the spotlight.
Varied lighting is not used to its full potential though it is unclear how much the production itself could control this seeing as McNasty’s request to turn off one particularly bright light was refused by the technical team. Still, some more colourful light displays would help to immerse the audience in the performances.
The acts’ costumes and outfits are incredible, most notably, Hollywood’s red and gold lion tamer ensemble, and Galore’s iridescent mermaid tail that she later sheds to perform her routine. Galore did take a rather long time with her off-stage costume change, but the wait is certainly worth it.
Haus of Kunst has a lot of potential and has an exceptionally talented cast, but some more style, flair and polish would certainly contribute to the bold, passionate and daring atmosphere that the collective so desires to create.
Reviewed by Flora Doble