Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 23 June 2016
I Might Take My Shirt Off is definitely not your typical cabaret. Telling the story of the unfortunate Lionel, the subject of a messy breakup with the love of his life, who is told by his rather scary therapist that he needs to express himself….the obvious choice being cabaret.
Thoroughly convincing, Lionel is a bumbling and shy middle manager of a carpet company, with absolutely no idea what he was doing beyond the exceedingly sparse guidance of Wikipedia. He soon discovers his “sexy self” and begins molesting the audience members (in the best way possible). The Artspace, upstairs in the Dunstan Playhouse, was the absolute perfect setting for just such “intimate” moments, with its little groupings of chairs and tables, black drapery and close proportions.
The jarred motion between beautifully polished cabaret number and a nerve-racked Lionel is utter perfection. It is like Lionel gets taken away from himself for a few glorious moments before being unceremoniously slammed back into himself, to abashedly realise what he has done. A problem booze and the accompanying ode to booze, he is sure will fix, except for the unforeseen issue of finishing the song quite sober.
Best of all there’s even a story mid-story!
As with the best theatre and storytelling in general, it was not all jokes, gaffs and laughter. Rather the comedic material served to completely disarm you before delivering those crushing, soul shattering, anger flaring realisations that come after the love of your life comes to an end.
This is one show where you go for the laughs but thoroughly appreciate the story, and leave with a sense of solidarity because someone else out there has felt the same way you did once.
Reviewed by Sara Vila
Rating (out of 5): 4.5
Season: 23-25 June 2016
Duration: 1 hour 5 mins
Tickets: $19.90 – $34.90
Bookings: Book online through the Adelaide Cabaret Festival website or phone BASS on 131 246