Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 10 June 2016
They come from Berlin. They speak the language of the dance. They’re here to rock and roll. The dynamic sibling duo, Otto und Astrid Rot, lend their future tunes to the opening night of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Inspired by the likes of Spinal Tap, these two performers have taken their pseudo-Deutsch identities to whole new levels of ridiculous authenticity. Merging the early electronic rock of Kraftwerk with the catchiness of Flight of the Conchords, Die Roten Punkte (The Red Dots) emerge as something quite unique in the “Kunst Rock” (Art Rock) scene.
On a child-sized drum set apparently nicked from Kreuzberg Public School, the stage-commanding Astrid delivers punchy beats, while her younger brother rips away at a sleek, red guitar. The pair are obviously accomplished music makers. Their songs are hilarious (most of the time), creative and catchy, if not a little simplistic. You’ll find yourself singing along, if you can get past some of the more cringe-inducing humour.
Otto and Astrid complement each other incredibly well as a comedic couple. Astrid is boisterous, confident and dominant, yet flawed in her own way, while Otto is a snivelling little, lipstick smeared goth-punk-mod-rocker with a big heart. Their German accents are well observed, but waver in and out of true authenticity just enough to keep things interesting. It’s easy to fall in love with their eccentricities and flaws.
In a way, their performance, both musically and comedically, is rather childish. They throw tantrums and sing songs about spaceships and “banana houses” … don’t ask. Of course, this is late-night cabaret, so Die Roten Punkte pile on the innuendo whenever they can. It’s awkward, but in the best way possible.
Costuming is simple yet effective and prop use minimal, but that just adds character. It forces the performers to rely on their wits, character and charisma to woo the crowd. They managed to do so, for the first half of the show, at least, before things began to slow in the last twenty minutes.
This opening night performance was not the most explosive of recent years (a lot of the tables in the theatre remained empty) but it surely served to get people’s motor running. Die Roten Punkte have entered the festival less with a bang than with a charming, bubbling build up.
So, danke schön, Otto und Astrid, for the fun night of not-so-serious Kunst Rock cabaret.
Reviewed by James Rudd
Rating (out of 5): 3.5
Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, King William St
Season: 10 – 12 June
Duration: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Tickets: $39.90 – $49.90
Bookings: Book online through the Adelaide Cabaret Festival website or phone BASS on 131 246