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Geelong’s council will host the story of an erotic dancer who allegedly horsewhipped a critical editor.
The Exotic Lives of Lola Montez will arrive at Drysdale’s Potato Shed next week, City Hall has announced.
Montez, real name Eliza Gilbert, was an Irish entertainer and Countess of Landsfeld who visited Australia in the mid-1880s to entertain miners and others during the Gold Rush.
She was renowned for flashing genitalia during her “erotic spider dance”, which the Sydney Morning Herald reported in 1855 as “the most libertinish and indelicate performance that could be given on the public stage”.
City Hall’s promotion of the Drysdale show repeated the claim that Montez “horsewhipped the editor of the Ballarat Times for a bad review”.
“She swung down mineshafts on a single rope with champagne in hand. She escaped arrest, dressed only in her jewels and she showered with gold nuggets.
“Her life was swathed in scandal.
City Hall described Montez as “the wildest showgirl of the 19th century”.
“The Exotic Lives of Lola Montez is a wildly contemporary dreamscape steeped in Australian history and the extraordinary lives and freedom of one of the world’s most adventurous women,” said arts and culture manager Kaz Paton.
The show at the Potato Shed on 4 and 5 August would star award-winning across and Montez descendent Caroline Lee, along with “Parisian dance siren Holly Durant”, the City said.
“International queen of provocative variety Moira Finucane would direct the production, based on the work of award-winning playwright Jackie Smith.
Finucane was looking forward to her Potato Shed return with the Montez show.
“I’ve previously performed in other roles to sell out audiences at the Potato Shed over the last five years and the Potato Shed is one of my very favourite venues in the world,” she said.
City Hall promised an appropriate atmosphere for next week’s evening shows.
“The venue has cabaret-style table seating, which delivers a more-intimate performance.”

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