Review: Law of Attraction with Kiki Mellek
The first time I saw Kiki Mellek on stage was during Burlesque Idol 2017. I thought her piece – a plastic surgery-inspired striptease to The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face – was one of the funniest things that evening. So, when the lovely Ms Mellek got in touch to invite me to her show, I jumped at the chance – jumped I tell you!
Making her Brighton Fringe debut with Law of Attraction, Kiki’s plastic fantastic show styles itself as a self-help seminar cum Ted talk, where she alternates between stories of her life (as a nobody from “Mellekia” who became Melania Trump’s bestie) and tips on how to be “fabulously better looking than everyone else”
How can a show be so stupid…and yet so smart?
That was my principal thought on leaving. Law of Attraction is daftly clever, intellectually slapstick, and really, really good fun.
My first thought was what a strangely charismatic character I saw before me. Almost perfectly realised – but totally bonkers. Her voice is a mix of Lithuanian lady of the night and Joan Crawford. Her look is sloppy Studio 64 meets Veronica Lake. I loved that she had set out to be a cosmetic caricature, really hyping up the grotesque… but it wasn’t 100% convincing. The body behind Kiki is clearly gorgeous, but what is one more incongruous element amongst such oddness?
There is a limit to how much sophistication one can bring to a show where the main gag is that the supposed “bombshell” hostess has extremely dodgy, completely enormous fake boobs, and a wonky butt. HOWEVER, along with the help of cabaret heavyweight Pi the Mime, Kiki Mellek’s show has moments of real polish.
I love, love, loved the tip about sniffing a grapefruit as an appetite restrictor, partly due to the slick videography of this segment (ha!) and partly because I’ve been using it myself and it really works! It’s been four and a half days since I’ve eaten a chip, and I’ve already lost 34 grams off my left buttock!
The other high point (of many!) for me was the fan dance. Ms Mellek is clearly a lady who’s studied classical burlesque, even if she’s decided she’s a comedy queen. The fan dance was perfection – beautifully choreographed, and deliciously stylised. Also, I am in awe of the ingenuity of her costuming – it can’t be easy to get those curves and swerves into such teeny-weeny outfits. 10/10 for effort.
My plus one for the evening said he expected more singing. Given that my pre-show description was “I think it’s sort of plastic surgery comedy burlesque”, I’m not sure where he got this from – but I can’t say I was disappointed. Kiki did perform one musical track, and even this consummate professional couldn’t hide the fact that, behind that nipped-and-tucked exterior was a really rather lovely singing voice.
Lovely voice or not, that scene – performing Abba’s Fernando to an audience member who was really making the most of his stage time and had the rest of us crying with laughter – went on for a wee bit too long for me, which was the case for a couple of the scenes.
My main piece of criticism would be that the show could use more cohesion. There were certain motifs which ran through the show – plastic surgery, Abba, a love of celebs – but I wanted MORE! More mentions throughout each act, more references to it all the way through, more Mellek! It wouldn’t take much to make this a five-star show for me, just trimming down a couple of the longer acts, and using that saved time to flesh out (ha!) the story a little.
Though this really is nit-picking. I had a genuinely marvellous time with Kiki Mellek and I will definitely be going to see her again and – if you’re a fan of silliness, style icons, double entendres and double Fs – so should you!
Fancy having a Kiki yourself? Keep an eye out here.