Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

by | Nov 26, 2023

By Nick Pilgrim

In the vast and varied landscape of Australia’s independent live entertainment scene, for more than a decade Little Ones Theatre has carved itself an impressive niche. Known for their commitment to showcasing queer comedy and drama at capital city locations around Australia, the award-winning company has racked up an impressive list of credits including:

  • The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde (2020);
  • Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams (2018);
  • The Nightingale and The Rose by Oscar Wilde (2018);
  • Merciless Gods by Dan Giovannoni, after Christos Tsiolkos (2017/2019);
  • The Moors by Jen Silverman (2017);
  • Dangerous Liaisons by Christopher Hampton (2014/2015/2016);
  • Dracula by Little Ones Theatre, after Bram Stoker (2015);
  • The House of Yes by Wendy Macleod (2014);
  • Salome by Oscar Wilde (2013);
  • Psycho Beach Party by Charles Busch (2012/13); and,
  • Sex. Violence. Gore by Alfian Sa’at (2012).

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. But instead of fading quietly into the background, the group plans to go out with one last bang.

Presenting the play which kickstarted the celebrated career of Charles Busch, Lesbian Vampires of Sodom is both knowing and hilarious in equal measure. In Little Ones’ capable hands, this seventy-five-minute trip is high camp at its delicious peak.

Told in three extended segments, the trio of vignettes packs a great deal of content into its compact running time. In short, the story is about two rival vampires (Jennifer Vuletic & Artemis Ioannides) and their respective plans to conquer the Underworld, Silent Era Hollywood, 1980s Las Vegas, and ultimately, each other. (Tailored for fans of these distinct genres, it should be noted that the popular cultural references fly thick and fast.)

The fearless pair are ably supported by Ash Flanders, Zoe Boesen, Brigid Gallacher, Tom Dent and John Marc Desengano, with Marko Pecer, Jasmin Larranaga, Anastacia Barres, and Jackie Van LieRop.

The Little One’s ensemble understands both the author and his intention. The cast are aware this isn’t high art, but about showing viewers a great time.

Instead, they revel in the plotline’s absurdity. Wearing its B Movie sensibility on its sleeve, makes for a fun journey. Lesbian Vampires of Sodom doesn’t pretend to be anything other than good fun. (Watch out for a third act dance break which is like a proverbial cherry on the collective’s hot fudge sundae.)

FortyFiveDownstairs is the perfect venue for this kind of material. Highlighting its versatility as a performance space, audiences are afforded an experience which is opulent and immersive at the same time.

Stephen Nicolazzo oversees the insanity for all its worth. Through his directorial eye, solid pacing means there is nary a dull moment. Stage Management from Harry Dowling with Assistant Stage Management from Finn McLeish keep the nutty proceedings always on point.

Creative support by Ash Pike (Movement Director), Nathan Burmeister (Costume Design), Katie Sfetkidis (Lighting Design), Spencer Herd (Lighting Associate), Sound Design and Composition (Daniel Nixon and Danni Esposito), style the show’s overall appearance somewhere between Ancient Greek Tragedy and Modern-Day Burlesque. Curtained entrances and exits combined with special effects smoke are clearly the company’s best friend.

If the opening night crowd’s enthusiastic response was any indication, Little One’s Theatre clearly knows its key demographic. Think camp classics like Valley of The Dolls meets All About Eve with a little bit of Death Becomes Her thrown into the mix and you’ll get the idea.

Very much an experience about sitting back and enjoying the ride, this last hurrah plays until December 3. Catch it while you can.

Image: Sarah Walker

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