A cool blend of contemporary & retro culture

Dolly Diamond shines bright as hostess with the mostest in ‘Blankety Blanks’

Michael Dalton is a force to be reckoned with. As a performer out of drag, he has played everything from the title role in Oliver! (on London’s West End) to understudying for Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1990 to 2000). On television, Dalton has been a regular on classic programs such as Hey Hey It’s Saturday and The Bert Newton Show. But it is his alter-ego – Dolly Diamond – who does it for us the most.

As Dolly, Dalton can be spotted on stage either belting out classic tunes (no lip-synching for this drag darling), dishing out the dirtiest of comedy, or hosting her own television-style game show. In fact, she is doing that very thing at this year’s Fringe World in Perth, tonight being the last night of a short but successful run.

Ultimately, members of the audience, too, shine on stage; those poor souls also put to the test of Dolly’s salacious wit… but coming up trumps when they get the answer right.

Dolly Diamond’s Blankety Blanks is molded in the same shape as the old-school TV show that was a massive hit in Australia in the 1970s and ’80s. That show itself was inspired by the US program Match Game, which also inspired the radical ‘Snatch Game’ on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

But back to the brilliant show at hand, which is, in short, Blankety with balls, with Dolly delivering equal doses of dry irony, slapstick action, and tongue-in-cheek innuendo as only she knows how.

Indeed, this show has all the hallmarks of classic cabaret and brilliant comedy, with local celebrity guests (or ‘Perthonalities’) being put through the ringer as they try to come up with words to fill in the blanks in sentences loaded with innuendo.

Ultimately, members of the audience, too, shine on stage; those poor souls also put to the test of Dolly’s salacious wit… but coming up trumps when they get the answer right.

Blankety Blanks is the perfect kind of show we hope to see a lot more of in future Fringe festivals. It holds a certain celebrity factor while still maintaining an underground ‘grit’. It is hosted in a comfortable environment (downstairs at the Maj is a nice change from the non-airconditioned tents across the bridge). It has spunk and sexiness, and decadence and drag, comedy and cabaret (love those Girl From Ipanema- type numbers), and a whole lot more.

Get in quick for a last-minute ticket to tonight’s show. If there are any left, that is. ★★★★1/2

Antonino Tati

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