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 (with Traverse Theatre)

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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).