The Empire Strips Back: A Burlesque Parody

Photos courtesy of Harry Acosta — Website | Instagram | Facebook

It’s hardly a music show, but it is so entertaining. The Empire Strips Back is a stage performance out of Australia created by Russall S. Beattie. It’s not a chronological story, but narrated skits containing characters you know, in a different and yet fully evolved universe.

Without giving two much away, the highlights for me were actor Drew Fairley narrating through the fourth wall with fantastic humorous timing; and Miss Burlesque New South Whales 2018, Kael Murray, tooling with her Landspeeder. Asking other audience members what they enjoyed, most everyone had a different scene in mind. There was one scene, so purposefully bad, it was fantastic, and it will not be forgotten by anyone who witnessed it.

It is a humorous show, but there was a Tw’lek scene that seemed much more like an interpretive dance number. It was placed in the show in such a way that no one questioned its presence. I was taken in by it and can’t remember the audience’s reaction, but I think I recall it being silence.

Asher Bowen-Saunders’ Thousand Galaxies Tw’lek Glare.

The attention to detail and ingenuity to put together this live show was terrific, with only one glaring flaw. In my eyes, it’s not as heinous as Greedo shooting first, but somewhere around Ace Venture Pet Detective’s “Laces Out” Finkle fiasco. Someone needs to tell Han Solo, that’s not the way you hold a ghetto blaster (You see what I did there?). The boom box is always held with the speakers toward the holder when brought to the shoulder. Of course, we’ll let it slide. Maybe that’s the way they do it in Australia.

One other note, you’ll catch in the below interview is that in the U.S. you’re not allowed to have pyrotechnics attached to anyone on stage, so the Fett had to go without her flame throwers, (a photo I was hoping to get). Everything else was flawless. Even dealing with unruly patrons or hecklers was shut down immediately, with quick discourse.

They finished off this leg of their tour on May 4th in New York City, but they are planning more shows in the second half of this year. If they should make it into your town, it is definitely a show worth seeing at least once.


A few moments with the creator, Russall S. Beattie.

Harry Acosta is a professional photographer who started out shooting concerts. Harry is an avid concertgoer and loves to capture his favorite musicians and unseen moments we take for granted in everyday life.

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