Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Short + Sweet Cabaret week two

Lady Cool, Conversations with my Shrink - so many problems so little time. Photo: Diana Popvska. Courtesy of Short + Sweet.

A Funeral Megamix, an astronaut with a broken space ship, an educational striptease and a new political party - it's just another night at Short + Sweet Cabaret. 

There's something comically endearing about Kate Walder's character Sally in Lost in Space as she finds herself stranded with a "fucked" space ship. She consults a Rabbi and a Frenchman, finally realising that by singing to the ship it will fix itself. Walder demonstrated an impressive, strong chest voice, I wish we'd heard more of it. Awkward silences punctuate the performance serving to increase the humour and demonstrate a level of self assurance as a performer. Walder is naturally comedic.  

Kate Walder, Lost in SpaceConversations with my Shrink - so many problems so little time. Photo: Diana Popvska. Courtesy of Short + Sweet.

Lockout by Emma Marie Davis started strong, an usher moves through the crowd lamenting that being an usher is a great job despite the fact that she saw Wicked 68 times. She explains to a disgruntled customer that as he is late he's locked out but as she knows all the scenes she can fill him in. It all ran like very humorous clockwork until the end where the performance stopped abruptly and I'm not entirely sure if that's how it was meant to play out. This is a shame as vocally Davis was a standout and conceptually it was clever and entertaining.   

Emma Marie Davis, Lockout. Photo: Diana Popvska. Courtesy of Short + Sweet.

It was all smooth tunes and neurosis with Lady Cool and Conversations with my Shrink - so many problems so little time. But it's not drugs or alcohol that's got this 1950's styled diva conflicted - it's love. As the voice of her shrink fills the space we learn of her affection for Ian Thorpe and love for vegans. Very entertaining and witty lyrics had the crowd cheering and despite all her hardships Lady Cool never lost her poise and even managed a costume change. Both hilarious and talented, Lady Cool brings new meaning to the words love-sick.

Rachael Thompson, Choose Your Own Cabaret. Photo: Diana Popvska. Courtesy of Short + Sweet. 

While all the acts presented talented vocal styling, arguably the strongest performance was Rachael Thompson Choose Your Own Cabaret. Asking the crowd what they would prefer - a song about love or a song about shopping - the audience chose shopping and thus began a tragic tale of shopping for a fry pan at David Jones. Witty and lyrically brilliant, Thompson's ten minutes concluded with a beautiful song about a time before 50,000 choices, the innocence of childhood and the beauty of a Never Never Land. Her's is a voice that over powers and surrounds you, it overwhelms and captivates. Exactly what cabaret should be.           
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