Cabaret Festival

Cabaret Festival Review: Fascinating Aida, The 40th Anniversary Show

Satirical subversion at its best!

Satirical subversion at its best!

Presented by: Adelaide Festival Centre and Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Reviewed: 7 June 2024

If you haven’t seen Fascinating Aida yet, you really haven’t lived, and you definitely haven’t laughed enough. This is their 40th Anniversary Show and it’s a ripper.

These three wonderful female identifying performers, with the added addition of a very brave and talented male accompanist (Michael Roulston)  give satire in cabaret a bad name – in a very good way. The group started in 1983 and I personally remember buying their first album Sweet FA and playing it until the tape broke. Yes, there was life before digital technology.

From the moment the show started the talent, timing and audacity of the material exploded off the stage, it really was as if time had stood still. The material, the timing, the ability to build mild hysteria in an audience was still as fresh as the first time I saw them on stage in the 80’s. Dillie Keane, as acerbic and intelligently insulting as ever, Adele Anderson, strong , ambiguous and as dangerous as the first time she graced a cabaret stage, and Liza Pullman whose glorious voice allowed profanity to gain respectability, was as dirty and borderline as ever.

This is a night to be relished. It has something old, something new, nothing borrowed and a lot of blue. It’s like a cool drink on a hot day, refreshing but it leaves you wanting more. I want to tell you about every song they sang, but if I do I will ruin the surprise! But they don’t leave much untouched from dogging to Trump to climate change to gender fluidity and I challenge you to stop yourself guffawing with laughter as the material leaves you gasping for breath between bouts of laughter.

I did ask the doorperson for the map Dilly Keen said would be available at the door but I was told I would have to Google it. You’ll have to go along to find out what that’s about. Thank you Virginia Gay for bringing filth in the form of art back into our lives. 


Reviewed by Adrian Barnes

Photo credit: Kyham Ross

Venue:  Dunstan Playhouse
Season: 7th – 9th June 2024
Duration:  1 hour 10 minutes (no Interval)Ages 16 and up, coarse language, sexual references, references to death and dying
Tickets: from $99 – $109

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