See article in its original context here by Cameron Woodhead for The Age.
My Life in the Nude: Maude Davey shines in clever burlesque
It’s part of the new Encore Series – a collaboration between independent companies which remounts sell-out seasons from La Mama at fortyfivedownstairs. That’s a cheering initiative. Quite apart from the fact that too often successful indie shows disappear without a trace, even theatre critics can’t see everything and this is a show I regret missing out on last year.
With good reason, it turns out. Davey’s arrestingly clever burlesque will be familiar to you if you’re one of the roughly 100,000 Australians who’ve seen Finucane & Smith’s The Burlesque Hour over the last decade. But she has been performing in the nude for longer than that, and the show’s a finely tuned selection of her greatest hits.
I was thoroughly entertained and moved by Davey’s playful gender-bending antics and the warm vignettes from her career, by her celebration of the beauty and vulnerability of the body. By the comic sketches and the song she sang (the gothic visuals and silky vocals she brings to Portishead’s Glory Box are one highlight, unleashing the audience’s inner bogan with The Angels’ Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again, another).
Then there’s Davey’s sheer presence, which is the key to burlesque, I suspect. “Presence” is used a lot in the performing arts, but no other mode asserts such a raw and tangible claim. The burlesque performer offers every cell of her body to your regard, and Davey has mastered the delicious complexities of the form.
Funny and poignant, confident and vulnerable, frivolous and serious, Davey’s show achieves the reverse of the voyeurism nudity typically inspires, holding the audience in thrall to the female gaze.