Tag: Elizabeth Dawson-Smith

REVIEW: Miss Friby Presents TOP SPOT

Glitz and glee with double the divas

By Myron My

Presented as part of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival, Top Spot is a one-woman show performed by two blonde bombshells, Gloria and Delia. Well no, it’s just Gloria’s show. But actually it’s really Delia’s show. Either way, it’s a great evening of cabaret, burlesque and comedy as the two women fight it out for the highly coveted “top spot” in the eyes of the audience.


Having been working together since 2013, Stephanie Marion Wood (Gloria) and Elizabeth Dawson-Smith (Delia) are a perfectly matched and complementary team to watch on stage together. Having previously seen the two perform twice in Miss Friby’s Two Pound Parlour, I expected to be in for a night of naughty hi-jinks and I was not disappointed.

In Top Spot, the two women are in a constant battle to ‘one-up’ each other, considering just the mere thought of sharing the spotlight is met with indignation and revulsion. The fun, high energy acts throughout the show and the brilliant costumes on display clearly indicate the time and effort the performers have gone to in creating this show. However, the scenes where Wood and Dawson-Smith are conversing with each other or the audience waver in their humour and comedy and still needs some refining.

While I’m not convinced a 60-minute show needs to have an intermission and make the show run 15 minutes over its advertised time, the second half of Top Spot is by far the stronger of the two, beginning with an amazing visual and vocal rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier”. Wood and Dawson-Smith are both extremely endearing on stage and know how to turn on the charm to win us over. The audience warmed to them immediately so that when we reach the audience participation required comedy segment “What Will You Do For a Cocktail?”, very little resistance or hesitation is present.

As much as Delia and Gloria would hate me for saying this, there is no place for an individual “top spot” in this show. Both Wood and Dawson-Smith shine in Top Spot and dazzle us with an array of entertaining acts that result in a very enjoyable night.

Venue: Ruby’s Music Room, Bennett’s Lane, Melbourne, 3000.

Season: Until 4 October | Fri – Sat 7.30pm, Sun 2pm (family friendly show)

Tickets: $25 Full | $22 Conc

Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

REVIEW: Revolt Productions’ Encore of TWO POUND PARLOUR

Revamped, revitalised and re-viewed

By Myron My

In Two Pound Parlour, Miss Friby (Elizabeth Dawson-Smith) returns from exile after performing “preposterous acts of showmanship”. In order to find the critic who made such comments, she gets her girls and boy together to create a spectacular show to coerce the reviewer to attend and then enact her revenge. Cue a big night of burlesque, dance, circus, vaudeville, comedy and songs!


It has been a year since I first saw Two Pound Parlour so I was keen to see how the show has evolved and developed over time, and for the most part, it has turned into something better. There are still a few skits that fall flat – the Vegas wedding (despite its changes) still doesn’t work and is more awkward than funny – but the energy and commitment the six performers put in is more than you could ask for.

The addition of Daniel Ham (Egson Ham) as the first ever male in Two Pound Parlour is an excellent choice. Apart from being able to perform the “male” roles, such as in “Not In A Gay Way”, the dynamic versatility he brings keeps things interesting. Also appearing for the first time as Unleashya Deville was Aleisha Manion, who along with Stephanie Marion Wood (Lady Stiff) stole many of the scenes they were in. Their role in “Heaven in a Box” was particularly hilarious and Wood’s vocal talents are more than impressive.

As an ensemble, the group works extremely well together and the pace and choreography are extremely tight. The showy tap dancing routine and the memorable stomping-dance number really highlight just how synchronised they are.

With some worn for only a few minutes, the vast array of costumes designed by Kim Ritchie and Sara Yael is testament to the amount of time and skill that has been spent on getting this show up again. The set design by Rob Smith needs to be mentioned for its creativity and really setting the scene for the audience. The music by band Rapskallion is of a high level and the song performed by Miss Friby and the two singers, Yael and Carmen O’Brien, is perfectly executed.

Two Pound Parlour is still a little rough around some of its sexy edges but overall, it is a highly welcome return for this group of talented performers and this returning critic will be interested to see where Miss Friby and her girls and boy go to next with this wild and crazy ride.

Venue: Revolt Productions, 12 Elizabeth Street Kensington
Season: Until 16 July | 7:30pm
Tickets: From $35.00
Bookings: http://revoltproductions.com

REVIEW: Revolt Productions Presents TWO POUND PARLOUR

Vegas vaudeville – with a twist

By Myron My

Set in post-apocalyptic Vegas, Miss Friby’s Two Pound Parlour showcases a variety of dance, burlesque, cabaret, vaudeville and all those things in between.  With live music from Rapskallion, it’s a sexy – and sometimes messy – two-hour rollercoaster of fun for the audience.

Two Pound Parlour

Our MC for the evening, Miss Friby (Elizabeth Dawson-Smith) wins the audience over with her conflicting nature throughout the show. She is charismatic yet vulgar, charming yet rude, confident yet insecure. She definitely has the ability to lead this raucous evening with style, and she does it with much ease.

All of Miss Friby’s girls, Trailor De’Lamore, Zaire De Congo, Loreal Disastre and Lady Steponhe show impeccable commitment to their roles in every skit, dance and performance number. The standout of the night for me was Lady Steponhe, with her excellent comedic timing and remarkable physical fitness that allowed her to pull off such amazing routines.

The highlights of Two Pound Parlour included “Heaven In A Box” by Steponhe, which had the audience in stitches, the stomping-dance routine led by Zaire and the kissing skit/song between Trailor and Steponhe. All the dance numbers were varied and engaging to watch, however, I felt the skit/performance aspect of Two Pound Parlour was sometimes a disappointment, such as the Vegas wedding and Loreal’s rendition of “Not In A Gay Way”.

There were a few sound and mic issues, such as hearing the performers when we shouldn’t be and not being able to hear them when we should.  As great as the band was, there were moments where their sound overpowered the singing of the ladies on stage and made it difficult to hear the lyrics.

As creator of Two Pound Parlour, Dawson-Smith’s dedication and hard work has clearly come through and has put together an enjoyable show that has something to suit all – as long as you have a naughty side to explore…

Venue: Revolt Productions, 12 Elizabeth Street Kensington

Season: Until 14 July | 7:30pm, Fri-Sat 10:15pm

Tickets: $35 Full | $30 Conc

Bookings: http://revoltproductions.com