Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 11 June 2017
The magnificent Dillie Keane has been entertaining for over three decades as both a solo artist and a founding member of the comedy musical trio Fascinating Aida. She writes the majority of songs with long-time collaborator and group member Adèle Anderson, who also assisted in the writing of Hello Dillie.
Accompanied by the talented Michael Roulston on piano (other than when he steps aside for the star to tinkle the keys herself), Dillie Keane embarks on a 70-minute ode to love, warts and all. She’s engaging, crass, heartbreaking and funny, sharing stories and songs about romance, online dating, lust, adultery, break ups and ageing. Her 2012 song about Dogging (having sex in public) is particularly memorable, as is her acerbic wit as a vengeful wife stalking her husband’s lover in the song Pam, and the up-tempo attempts of a randy elderly couple in This Ain’t the Hokey Cokey Any More.
While many of Keane’s songs are timely responses to culture and climate, there are others which are timeless and several make it into Hello Dillie, including the comical reality check of dating in Shattered Illusions and the blind-but-receding hope that sustains a mistress in Much More Married (than he said).
Keane introduces most numbers with a little story, knowing how to milk a laugh even when she’s about to punch you in the gut with sadness. I’m not afraid to confess that, after 20 years, her heartwrenching ballad Look Mummy, No Hands once again brought tears to my eyes. As a favourite of hers since the 1990s, I was pleased to learn it remains one of Keane’s favourites also.
Regretfully, Hello Dillie graced our stages for three shows only. The tragedy of such a short season is compounded by the knowledge that the last time she entertained locally with a Fascinating Aida tour was in the late 1980s. If you missed Keane’s long-overdue return to Adelaide, then you’ve missed one of life’s enduring musical stars, who sprinkles her comedy with liberal amounts of pathos, astute observations and just the right amount of salacious scandal.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 5: 5
Venue: Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 9-11 June 2017
Duration: 70 minutes