You squeeze into this crowded little bar, surrounded by patrons of all ages. There are chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, curtains across the windows to dim the bright summer sun that still burns incongruously outside the door. Once you are inside, you are transported to another sort of world – an earthier one and certainly a sexier one. There is a buzz running through the crowd, an excited chatter as they take their cocktails to their seats, which are gathered around a small, empty stage. It is this atmosphere, first and foremost, which sets the scene for the performance about to take place; the cast is small – numbering only four – which is fitting in such an intimate venue. Really, this sums up the entire show. Intimate.
You can see the leg hairs on Sapphire Snow’s thighs as she slowly strips off her stockings, and you can see the twinkle in Sidonie Henbest’s eyes as she belts out those sexy numbers in her amazing voice. You could even read Matthew Carey’s iPad-delivered sheet music over his shoulder, if you were nosy enough and sat in the right corner of the room. You are part of the performance (particularly true if you are unlucky enough to sit to the left of the stage, as the cast are forced to step over you as they exit), and although I am unashamedly nauseous at the idea of audience participation, it was a fitting inclusion to the final act.
It was brilliant to hear women around me exclaiming delightedly over Christmas themed nipple covers (indeed, lady who sat behind me, I too would like to know where you can purchase these items!), and general hilarity ensued when a mostly naked elf turned a saucy burlesque dancer into a light-up Christmas tree. It was this mix of comedy and sexiness that was the heart and highlight of Saturday Night Soirée for me, although the occasional darker moments were well performed by Henbest. Yet the show as a whole lacked continuity; there was no storyline, or even a reoccurring theme, and this rendered each act slightly disjointed from the last. There was no sense of conclusion at the end, which would have transformed an enjoyable night into a truly memorable one.
This aside, if you are looking for a cabaret act full of spectacularly talented cast-members, cheeky nipple tassles, unexpected laughs and excellent music, all in a wonderfully intimate setting, you will not go wrong booking tickets to the Saturday Night Soirée.
Reviewed by Emily Francine Palmer
Saturday Night Soirée
When: 14 December, 31 December (New Year’s Eve show), 11 January
Adelaide Fringe season: 15 & 22 February, 1, 8 & 15 March at 10.30pm
Where: La Bohème, 36 Grote Street, Adelaide
Tickets: Adults: $40 / Concession: $33 & Special New Year’s Eve Packages available
Bookings: Book tickets online at the La Boheme website or visit FringeTix to buy tickets for Adelaide Fringe season shows.
All shows are 18+ events. Shows are 90 minutes long (with interval) except the New Year’s Eve show: 9pm – midnight (with intervals)
Photo Credit: Saturday Night Soirée