How does one describe Dutch/German cabaret entertainer and European sensation Sven Ratzke? Unique, bizarre, ultra-extravagant in style and flavour, supremely talented and bitingly hilarious…
Ratzke’s latest cabaret, Diva Diva’s is as camp, outrageous, beautifully emotive and fabulously funny as he is. He blends wild audience participation, highly imaginative storytelling and evocatively sung songs seamlessly to present a number of divas (not to be confused with prima donnas) of the 1960s. His picturesque introduction to Diamonds Are Forever and his hilarious drunken cavorting leading into his beautifully static and moving Somewhere Over The Rainbow (emulating Judy Garland’s famous breakdown and outburst at her Melbourne concert towards the end of her career) are only two cases in point.
This number also demonstrates the creativity and brilliance of Ratzke’s young pianist/musical director, Charly Zastrau who performs an amazing piano solo in the middle of it. Zastrau is musical excellence personified and one finds they are trying to watch both performers in equal amounts. Don’t be surprised if you find that Zastrau has his own cabaret gig in future festivals.
Ratzke excels at dotting little clues throughout the performance and it’s a delightful game to try and guess 60s movie references and celebrities before he asks or tells us. Just as the comedy is funny though, so too are the darker moments serious, although it’s counter-balanced by Ratzke promising to buy every audience member a drink (from the one bottle).
This is European style Cabaret at its best, with a performer at his greatest!
Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide
Season: season ended
Duration: 1 hour 10 mins
The Adelaide Cabaret Festival runs from 6-21 June 2014