Presented by Millicent Sarre
Reviewed 8 June 2019
Friendly Feminism for the Mild Mannered is the debut original cabaret show by Adelaide-based performer Millicent Sarre. Millicent is no stranger to the Adelaide theatre scene, having appeared in countless productions, but this venture into self-written, produced and performed shows is a path that Millicent well and truly owns. The standing ovation from the near full house on opening night clearly reflected that. Simply put, this show is a triumph.
As the show’s title suggests, this production is an hour long venture through feminism in today’s society, focusing mainly on the issues of toxic masculinity, rape culture and consent. Heavy-hitting topics for a Saturday night out, but Millicent cleverly weaves a general look at the issues and how we as a society can address them with her own personal stories. The script is beautifully crafted. Millicent is at home on the stage, which is clear to see from the moment she steps onto it. Her warm, friendly smile instantly draws the audience in, and she has an excellent way of storytelling, knowing the right time to throw in a joke to lighten the mood, or when to focus on the serious side of the issues being addressed.
The pieces are all composed by Millicent (bar one, where she wrote additional lyrics to an existing piece). Each superbly-written piece not only told stories with finely crafted poetry and prose, but also showcased the full potential of Millicent’s amazing voice. As a musician, this reviewer also commends the musical structure of each piece.
Throughout the performance, Millicent was joined on stage by another well-known Adelaide theatre performer, Jemma Allen, on backing vocals, cue card holding (for the audience!) and beat-boxing. Jemma’s fine voice blends extremely well with Millicent’s, and adds another depth to this already complex show. Jemma’s infectious humour mixes well with Millicent’s story telling and narrative.
Special mention must go to Maddy Blenkinsop, the tech for this show. The house mix was perfect – a nice balance between Millicent, Jemma and the piano, without losing the intimacy of the performance or the venue. Her lighting design also added another depth to this outstanding production, emphasising and driving home Millicent’s powerful lyrics.
Friendly Feminism for the Mild Mannered is funny, heartfelt, honest, thought-provoking, educational and stirring. This is an eye-opening, timely production. It is a must see. If you haven’t already done so, book today, as this show is sure to sell out, and will be one of those shows you will be reflecting on for days (or weeks) to come.
(Please note, the scoring system only allows a score out of 5, but personally, this reviewer scores it a 6/5).
Reviewed by Ben Stefanoff
Venue: Union Hall (formerly The Promethean)
Season: Sun 9 June 8pm, Sat 15 June 8pm, Fri 21 June 9pm
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $27.30 – $29.30