Strip Search

Now I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes seeing a beautiful person performing on stage can lift your overall enjoyment of a show. So it comes as somewhat of a surprise that watching a perfectly sculpted piece of flesh strip down to bare all was one of the most embarrassing shows I have ever sat through.Damolo Onakedo is a stripper and an actor who, along with writer Peter Scott-Presland, has created this voyeuristic piece of theatre. It follows Onakedo’s life through childhood, his years as a teenage prostitute, the time he served in Iraq and his coming to terms with his sexuality. Between each vignette, Onakedo has a little pout, wink and dance aimed at the audience and teasingly removes another piece of clothing.Onakedo’s performance is awkward, confusing and very hard to take seriously. While he’s stripping off and playing with the audience he is in his element, but the cliché that strippers are only good for one thing is very much highlighted whilst he stumbles through the dialogue. To be fair, he is not helped by some clunkers of lines such as “I cried for love.” Whilst performing his most intimate moments it’s hard not to be caught up in the embarrassed giggles coming from the audience at the fact we are watching a semi-naked man describing a horrifically violent incident with the words “his brains looked like cat food.”Even more disturbing is that Onakedo seems to be quite pleased with his work as a teenage prostitute and gloats about his conquests as if we are supposed to be impressed. Meanwhile his performance as the child version of himself is embarrassingly awful and feels like a weak spoof of Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile. Onakedo is a brave man for this performance overall (he is literally alone and naked on stage for a large majority) and he gives it his all but he has put his trust in the wrong place with this awful show. Whilst our final image is of Onakedo wiping his bottom with the Union Jack he might consider doing the same with his flyers so people have a better understanding of what to expect from the show.

Reviews by Stewart McLaren

Online at www.DavidLeddy.com (with Traverse Theatre)

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★★★★
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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

A performance piece about a male stripper by Double Fringe First Winner Peter Scott-Presland. Squaddie was a soldier, now he’s a stripper. So Squaddie is stripping tonight… to the bone. ‘A cracking piece of Fringe Theatre' (Time Out).

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