Dolly should never go away again
Reviewed at Gluttony on 27 February 2019
Presented by NCM
From the moment Dolly Diamond strides out onto the stage clad from head to toe in a glittering black sequined dress, balancing elegantly on stylish black sequined follow me homes and the most beautifully crafted wig al la Marilyn to the strains of Love Is In The Air you know you’re in for a great hour of entertainment. The humour is fast, bitingly bitchy and oh so very funny. No-one’s safe, no-one’s really worried this act is as risqué, engaging and pitched at just the right level. And I learned some valuable lessons, not the least of them being that Labia Minora is a Swedish Pop Singer. You had to be there.
Dolly has become an integral part of the entertainment world in Australia. In the enduring style of Danny la Rue, Diamond has brought drag out of the gay bars and into the world of commercial theatre. Please keep straddling the divide, the world needs to laugh. It is great to see such a polished and clever entertainment in a Fringe show. The audience laughed, winced, ducked the occasional barb, and a lucky two found themselves on stage in a nostalgic update of an iconic Australian game show. Blankety Blanks was made famous by Graham Kennedy who would have been proud to see Dolly re-enliven the old formula with a little bit of suggestive banter.
His six-person panel were made up of other Fringe performers, all able to add their own brand of humour to an already sparkling show. Andy Silverwood from England appearing in his one man show Late Night Panel Show, Laura Desmond appearing in Socially (Un)Acceptable, Jamie Mykaela appearing in Jamie Mykaela’s Napoleon Complex, Sisters Lucinda and Melody Beck appearing in Rita and Mae (looking sensational too in black velvet) and last but not least Kel Balnaves who’s show is You Bewdy. What a great idea to involve other artists who are working alongside you in a Festival. It’s generous, informative and tells me a whole lot more about Dolly Diamond than I can find in my research. The two audience members who so eagerly entered into the spirit of things, the delightful (Lesbi)Anne and the gullible, and sweetly vague, Robbie really made the show zing. Some wonderfully judged and timed comedy from Dolly, the panel and the accidental guests from the audience.
Dolly has not only carved a niche for herself in the entertainment world both Straight and LBGTQI, worked tirelessly to support the LBGTQI communities raising awareness and funds for all sorts of organisations, and been the head of the famous Midsumma Festival in Melbourne. She has also appeared on ABC News Breakfast (always a treat to see Michael Rowlands have to compete with two strong women). This woman never stops! And she’s only lived in Australia for ten years. How does someone become an Australian National Treasure in such a short time?
This Dolly, more precious than the Hope Diamond, glitters effortlessly in a grey world bringing an audience to gales of laughter, instant applause and whole new appreciation for a show that is famous from a very long time ago. I love nostalgia done well, I love good original material, and I loved joining in and singing Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) with an audience brought alive by Dolly’s joie de vivre, the words were perfect! As the late great Carol Channing should have said ‘Dolly Should Never Go Away Again’ – and her voice was as deep as Dolly’s. If you go to this show, stand out and try to be picked as one of the contestants. You’ll have a lot of fun!
Reviewed by Adrian Barnes
Venue: The May Wirth at Gluttony
Season: 27th-28th Feb 1-3 March 8.10pm
Duration: 70 minutes (18+ rating)
Tickets: $29 FP $27 Conc