Australian Cabaret Summer School 2012 Showcase

Directed by Matthew Carey
Reviewed Saturday 14th January 2012

Venue: The Promethean, 116 Grote Street, Adelaide
Season: One night only, two different performances, 5pm and 8pm
Duration: 100mins each performance

During the preceding week a group of fifteen cabaret enthusiasts took part in a series of teaching sessions and master classes under the guidance of Catherine Campbell and Matthew Carey, with extra classes with Libby O'Donovan, Sidonie Henbest and Michael Morley and some advice from Frank Ford. Some were people who have already performed in Fringe and Cabaret Fringe, seeking to hone their skills, and others were beginners looking for a solid foundation on which to build their futures. This all culminated in two performances, eight of the participants appearing at 5pm and the other seven at 8pm.

In the first performance were Carolyn Curtis, Shelley Dunstone, Nic Hurcombe, Alison Kimber, Annie Siegmann, Jade Kops, James McLean and Megan Humphries. In the second were Megan Doherty, Carla Conlin, Lindsay Prodea, Michelle Pearson, Jenny Wynter (who came down all the way from Brisbane especially to attend this course), Rosie Maeder and Harriett Allcroft.

Those taking part were an amazingly diverse group. The youngest participant was only just eighteen and the oldest was, well, somewhat more mature. One was giving her very first public performance and some have performed in the Fringe, Cabaret Fringe and Feast Festivals and also have shows in the forthcoming Fringe. There was also a massive range of themes for their various segments, each of which was around ten minutes and included three songs and linking patter. It also looked a little like a fashion parade, with some amazing outfits and accessories. The performers had pulled out all the stops. In spite of their diversity, they all showed equally enormous levels of enthusiasm and energy, with a lot of thought and rehearsal clearly having gone into their various presentations.

Both performances played to large audiences who obviously loved every one of the segments, with lots of laughter and applause throughout both performances. It was great to see that the performers had established such a good rapport during the week that those in one group were in the audience when the other group were performing, and that there was a lot of emotion as they were saying goodnight to one another at the end of the evening.

Speaking to those involved brought forth great praise and gratitude for being able to attend this course and for the opportunity to take it further to show their work to a real audience in a real venue. All attested to the fact that had learned an enormous amount during a packed week. This is only the second time this Cabaret Summer School has been run and, this time, had more people enrolled that the first time so, if you have any thoughts of taking part in 2013 make sure you book the moment that it is announced, as there is a limit to the number of places.

Congratulations must go to everybody involved, both the participants and the organisers and tutors, for the enormous amount of hard work that would have gone into the week to result in such a great evening of entertainment.

Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.

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