Underbelly has today announced the full cast for the critically acclaimed Yummy:Iconic which opens on July 5th and runs until 31st July at Cavendish Square.
This summer sees Bendy Ben, Jarred Dewey, Jandruze, Karlee Misi, Valerie Hex and Velma Vouloir take to the stage with a wild new show that celebrates and subverts cultural icons, legends, and superstars, YUMMY: ICONIC is drag variety at its very best.
YUMMY has changed the world of drag cabaret and they can't wait to bring their unique brand of salacious variety back to the main stage! Get in quick as YUMMY are in town for a limited time only. Tickets are on sale now and available from underbellyfestival.com.
Bendy Ben is a dancer, choreographer, & performance artist, who is based in Melbourne, unceded Wurundjeri country. Featured in works by Australian choreographers, Lucy Guerin, Prue Lang, Melanie Lane, Antony Hamilton, Lee Serle, Sue Healey, Martin del Amo, Narelle Benjamin, & Gideon Obarzanek. As a solo artist, Benjamin often inhabits fantastical dispositions that invite audiences to embrace parallel masculinities and femininities. Presenting solo performances at Chunky Move, Lucy Guerin Inc, Performance Space, National Gallery of Victoria, Mona Museum & New Orleans Biennial. Benjamin has also collaborated with contemporary artists, such as Dylan Martorell, Belle Bassin, Lichen Kelp, and Fayen d’Evie, to develop and perform works presented at leading Australian galleries including the Art Gallery of NSW, Ian Potter Museum of Art, & Heide Museum of Art. He received an Australian Dance Award (2017), Helpmann Award Nomination (2017), and Green Room Award (2016) for his outstanding performance in Lucy Guerin Inc’s ‘The Dark Chorus’. Acclaimed as a performance artist in drag cabaret, Benjamin often plays with the spectacle of camouflage & masks, within egalitarian choreographies of drag. These performance entities have resonated beyond the club scene, leading to commissions at Aesop, Tourism Australia, NGV, Mona Foma & Dark Mofo, ACCA, ACMI. Benjamin graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2008 with a Bachelor of Dance and was the recipient of the inaugural VCA choreographic award in his final year.
Jandruze is an Australian drag artiste who has taken both the realms of international cabaret and the queer underground by storm. Described as both “impossibly gorgeous” and a “master of their craft” - over the past decade they have carved out their place as the premier non-binary wet dream of the Australian stage. A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts School of Dance; their practice ranges from drag, dance and choreography - to costume, sound and set design. A recent pivot as a DJ has revealed them to be the latest dancefloor darling of Naarm (Melbourne). A staple of the vibrant Australian club scene, they collaborate regularly with such events as BARBA Party, HONCHO DISKO, Thick’n’Juicy and Poof Doof amongst a host of others and major credits include extensive touring with YUMMY Productions (London, Edinburgh, Auckland and Australia), RISING Festival (Melbourne) and Sydney Mardi Gras (Sydney), DARK MOFO (Hobart) - as well as collaborations with both independent artists and major institutions such as Tanzer, Lee Serle, Antony Hamilton, The Huxleys, Chunky Move, NGV, ACCA and Holly Durant to name but a few. With a unique blend of sultry seduction and high camp Jandruze is sure to leave you panting for more.
Jarred Dewey is a widely respected circus artist known for his lithe virtuosity, sense of design, and capacity as a collaborator. He began his training in circus as a teenager at Cirkidz, a youth circus based in his home town of Adelaide. In 2007 he moved to Melbourne to study at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), graduating in 2010. He has since worked extensively with Brisbane based contemporary circus company CIRCA as a full-time ensemble acrobat for nine years. During his time with CIRCA he has devised, toured and performed in 13 different productions (including OPUS, Wunderkammer, PEEPSHOW, and more) in over 30 countries worldwide. He has also been featured in the 2016 London season of La Soirée in Leicester Square, has featured in numerous productions by YUMMY, co-divised and performed in his own Green Room Award winning show 'Party Ghost,’ and was an original cast member of the Circus Oz production ‘Model Citizens’ directed by Rob Tannion in collaboration with Kate Fryer.
Karlee Misi is a Maori/Niuean Performing Artist, residing and working on Gadigal Land of the Eora Nation. A triple threat performer she has spent the past 17 years teaching and performing in a wide range of disciplinary spaces including professional Musical Theatre ('Barnum’ 2019 Storey Board, Diana Morales in 'A Chorus Line' 2013 Australian Tour TML, 'Hairspray' 2012 Dainty), movies, TVC’s, corporate and commercial. Karlee is the Mother of the Australian Kiki Vogue house, House of Luna, founded in 2017. Some of Karlee’s credits include; The Empire Strips Back Burlesque stage-show Tour, Dark Mofo Festival Hobart, Headliner performer at The Australian Burlesque Festival, The Imperial Hotel Sydney, ‘La Femme’ The Vanguard Sydney, Unicorns, Heaps Gay, The Witch of Kings Cross docudrama, Eora’s Vogue Balls including Sissy Ball and West Ball. Your favourite Polynesian Burlesque Ballroom Princess.
Valerie Hex works tirelessly to create, enhance and extend the possibilities of drag cabaret and queer dance. Consistent across all their work, they have boldly created opportunities, taken major risks, and strived to connect and enrich diverse audiences. Their early work, from 2007 to 2015 focused on queer dance manifestations and their current work, 2015 to present, focuses on researching and expanding contemporary drag cabaret. A graduate from the VCA School of Dance (2007), Val has become an internationally recognised figure as a performer, choreographer, and producer. As producer and director of all eight full-length YUMMY shows, Val has lead an ensemble of drag and burlesque artists to over 30 festivals around Australia and overseas. YUMMY has earned dozens of five-star reviews worldwide, and won numerous awards including: “The People’s Choice Award” Melbourne Fringe 2021, "Best Cabaret" Fringe World 2019, "Best Cabaret Production" and "Best Cabaret Ensemble" at the Green Room Awards 2018. Val has also performed with queer performance juggernauts Taylor Mac, Glory Box, Briefs, David Sedaris, and many more. Val was able to research and explore the choreographic possibilities within drag cabaret through a year-long artist residency at Dancehouse - 'The Housemate Residency' which culminated in a first-of-its-kind two week mini-festival on queer dance in 2019. The programme Val created included 10 weeks of free queer dance classes to a large group of participants, panel discussions, workshops, and a world premiere show about queer dance history titled 'Dancing Qweens.’ Val also created a striking 10 minute video project while in residence at The Bowery Theatre/ Brimbank City Council entitled “Duets with a Shapeshifter” (Midsumma Festival 2021). Val’s work in queer dance and drag cabaret has yielded massive significance to the sector, blazed an original and brave trail, and facilitated an artistically satisfying and sustainable career.
Velma Vouloir works extensively in burlesque as a performer and teacher, and is the creator of “CNTROVERSY,” an award-winning podcast that uncovers, devours &celebrates the history of eroticism. With a background in dance, pole, and lyra/aerial hoop, Velma brings a rich history of performance practice to her professional ‘peeler’ stage persona. Part fiery femme-fatale, part 80s geek and a whole lotta Showgirl - Velma Vouloir won Miss Burlesque Victoria 2018, Miss Burlesque Australia 'Miss Classic 2018.’ She’s a celebrated icon of Melbourne burlesque, and is a sought after performance coach. She is a resident Burly Flex & Showgirl Follies instructor at Maison Burlesque, which is one of Melbourne’s dedicated Burlesque hubs.
The capital’s original pop-up has returned and is offering a double dose of live entertainment and laughter across two brilliant spots: Earls Court and Cavendish Square.
The iconic Upside Down Purple Cow, Udderbelly, has returned to Earls Court with jaw-dropping circus acts, comedy shows that will leave you crying with laughter, and entertainment for all the family. All of this, alongside beautiful outdoor bars and delicious street food.
Underbelly Festival has once again made the heart of the West End home this spring, just off London’s Oxford Street in Cavendish Square. Underbelly Festival’s majestic Spiegeltent is back and serving up another helping of superb cabaret, shows for comedy-lovers that include the biggest LOL-worthy names in the festival’s favourite late night show London Comedy Allstars, and the most fabulous drag shows in town. The perfect spot for lunch al fresco or after work drinks in the city.
Underbelly is in the process of submitting planning applications for the Underbelly festival across two London locations. Everything outlined above within the release will be subject to planning and licensing approval.
* Tickets purchased through underbellyfestival.com are subject to a £1.50 booking fee.
YUMMY - ICONIC - 5 JULY - 31 JULY, CAVENDISH SQUARE
Award magnets YUMMY are back in London due to popular demand! With a wild new show that celebrates and subverts cultural icons, legends, and superstars, YUMMY ICONIC is drag variety at its very best. YUMMY has changed the world of drag cabaret and can't wait to bring their unique brand of salacious variety back to the main stage! Get in quick as YUMMY are in town for a limited time only.
For ticketing information, head to www.underbellyfestival.com and follow Underbelly on social media @underbellyfest