Hot Mess: That Wasn't Part Of The Plan
Things we loved
- Miss Nona Mona has that X factor - get used to seeing her on stage
- This show intriguingly sits somewhere between cabaret and stand up
Things we would reconsider
- As this show develops further, it's going to become an intense ride
If ever there was a show in which a performer honestly bared herself to her audience, Hot Mess. This Wasn’t Part of the Plan is it.
Miss Nona Mona is a former Miss Burlesque South Australia, who co-hosts an offbeat, fun radio show on PBA-FM on Sunday nights, and who has worked in the adult entertainment industry (learn more at this interview with Nona on episode 132 – Adelaide striptease).
Of course, Nona has her own, deep internal life, but she shares her public persona with great generosity and with an air of being both self-deprecating and supremely confident at the same time. We get glimpses into burlesque, childhood influences, strip club culture, marriage, loss, cats and, well, pleasure!
What is particularly impressive and refreshing about this show is Nona’s levelling with the audience. As she straddles topics from the taboo to the profound, we are there as peers (well, okay, a few rungs below her diva status), as we are taken on a journey into some of her transformative life moments. She simply expects we’ll have our grown up pants on. No talking down, no euphemisms, just a wild and glittery potpourri of stories, experiences, emotions, and demonstrations of a life “out front”.
At one point, Nona reads from her diary to take us into the world of young Nona, and in many ways, this show is like a structured, thoughtfully-designed diary entry cum dreamscape. Boldly, Nona is comfortable to use moments of pause and silence to punctuate a show that hurtles along at pace with numerous costume changes (even costume removals) and vignettes both on stage and on the screen behind her in the Iris Cinema.
Nona exploits her proximity to and familiarity with audience members. She has an “X factor” stage presence and is able to use her eyes and quick wit to engage “the punters”, and in a way one would not expect from a debutant, she comfortably interacts with enthusiastic devotees without missing a beat as she works through her material.
In its current state, this show is a fun romp through a colourful life. It is an entertaining scrapbook of scenes and segues, and as this show is developed further and further, we’d better prepare to see a lot more of Miss Nona Mona because she has a rich tapestry of experiences to draw from and the natural ability to express them in the most endearing and scandalous ways.