Beating the Odds: The Hayley Stewart Story

FringeWorld- “Beating the Odds: The Hayley Stewart Story”

Written by Harry Frochter
Photos by Harry Frochter

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The Fringe Festival finishes up this week. Guest contributor Harry Frochter has reviewed his favourite show of the season.  Get along and catch some Fringe before it is a distant memory once more.


The hottest Fringe show (that took six months to put together).

The show starts with an audio visual presentation of Hayley’s early life from abandoned child to owning her own cabaret club.  Interspersed with the audio visual are live acts, starting with the song Cabaret made famous by Liza Minnelli in the 1972 musical drama film.

She stated her acting many years ago at the Charles Hotel with erotic aerobics under her stage name of Mystique. She also give a short history of the sex scene in Perth including Raunchy Promotions.

The authentic working class cabaret show leads into a wild west act ending in one of the girls semi stripping. Hayley continues her search for her family.

Her erotic dance taught her to point her toes out as a ballet dancer would. The4 screen on the wall shows past strip shows around Perth and describing the old pub scene.  These bars were always full of young males eager to watch female stripping. Sexuality and seduction were rampant but in 1989 the moral good leaders caused a ban to take effect against bare breasts and buttocks.

The next act “Leave your hat on’’ is that famous 1986 Joe Cocker song that strips all clothes off but only leaves your hat on your head.

The audio visual continues with strippers being punished with acts of indecency by the Police.  The result was that pubs emptied and this drove a lot of previously working girls into poverty and many were forced into prostitution to survive.

The next act has a solo contemporary ballet dancer. The comparison was made between clothing that emphasize the curves of the female body similar to ma stripper beckoning at you with her finger to come forward.  The next act has a scene of a man sitting at a window watching his neighbour having a shower.

At interval you had the opportunity to talk to the dancers as they came around and visited the audience.

These dancers are intelligent and good conversationalists with a genuine desire to ensure all patrons are having an enjoyable time.  All patrons received a free champagne on arrival as part of their entry fee.  At half time we received a free shot of tequila and watermelon.


Beating the Odds: The Hayley Stewart Story
Beating the Odds: The Hayley Stewart Story


The second half of the show opens with an original song calling for people to come to the Voodoo Lounge.

The life story continues with revolutionary pole dancing arriving in Peth. The Red Windmill received a cabaret licence and opened with Hayley working there as a pole dancer.  This Gentlemen’s club starred Miss Felix a five time winner in pole dancing.

On the stage a pole dancing demonstration came next.

Back to the film, came the era of the Bindoon Rock festivals. Then the Parisian influence had on stage a troubadour of dancers against a backdrop of rooftop cabaret.

This was the point that started Hayley’s dream of having her own club.

The next act was an Andrews sisters style on a ballet stretching bar.

The story continues with her meeting the man of her dreams but end up being betrayed by him.

A blues song is next on stage.

Back to the story, the history of sexuality continues with Hayley thinking about her last love.  Then her father finds her and they both reconcile their differences.  This leads to the next act of a modern dance routine.

Hayley says become a women first then demand to be equal.

The next act was a New York scene of sophistication in bright yellow.

One day as Hayley was walking through Northbridge she came across and empty building and eventually turned that building to what it is today. (Previously it was a well known gambling den.)

Thus the simple dream of a dancer became a reality today.

At the end the whole cast come out to do a final chorus line from the song Cabaret. Then they went out into the audience and mingled with the crowd.

This is the first time that the Voodoo Lounge has participated in Fringe and this is also the first time that an adult entertainment venue has been included in the program.

The alcohol prices are the same as other bar prices around town. Shows continue from Wednesdays to Saturdays until 18 February and entry is $26. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start.



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