Note: This review is from the 2016 Fringe

Saddle up for a ride on the saucy side with The Raunch.┬áThis burlesque show brings all the familiar elements together with a mix of comedy, gravity-defying acts, nipple tassels, twerking, and audience participation, strung together with a Wild West theme – think gun-totin’, toe-tapping, stetson-tippin’, and chaps.

Starring the legendary cabaret performer Empress Stah as the Bad Sheriff, with her trigger-happy aerial act featuring a laser shooting forth from where the sun don’t shine to the strains of Light in Places, a song specially composed by Peaches, she is joined on the stage by other cabaret artists performing their individual burlesque tricks, making up The Magnificent Seven.

Empress Stah is joined by nipple twerking, hair hanging, chin dangling Alternative Miss World Fancy Chance as the Condemned; hip-hop, rapping-tapping dancing twins My Bad Sister as the Bar Room Beauties with their East London accents, cruise ship cabaret and dance routines, and knife throwing; international burlesque femme fatale Missa Blue as the Outlaw, with her disturbing sword swallowing; Colombian circus performer Jair Ramirez as the Bandit, with his impressive aerial straps and hand-balancing spectacle; and Mr Teds as the Unwanted, with his ventriloquism duo routine requiring audience participation, which raises a few audience laughs – possibly because they are glad it isn’t them.

The show features fire, sword swallowing, ventriloquism, whip-cracking, tap and hip hop dance routines, aerial straps, and hand-balancing acts to a disco-hoedown soundtrack. It’s OK, but nothing that hasn’t been seen before, loosely woven together with a Wild West theme.

With a 19:00 start time and appearing at the Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows, this is one show you won’t want to drag your children to! However if you like nipple tassels and cheap laughs at the expense of unwitting audience participation, this show might appeal. The audience seems to like its sauciness though.