As the audience files in to the intimate Le Cascadeur tent, they are greeted by a slender, black feather clad, classic European cabaret diva, drawn from another era, and a half man, half woman, accordion player in tux, tutu and half moustache.
The diva, Bernadette Byrne, gives the Right Said Fred standard a new twist with her Eastern European accent and sets the tone for the show. As the title indicates, this show is about sex. Byrne is accompanied through the whole show by multi-talented Victor Victoria or Victy as he/she is affectionately known, who adds vocals and a variety of instruments to the mix.
Cleverly worded ballads describe stories such as a trip to Thailand, wardrobe malfunctions that turn into fetishes, and Bernadette’s sexual escapades. The conversation between Bernadette and Victy establishes the relationship between the two and provides an underlying plot line for most of the show.
Whilst the audience is crammed into the bleacher seating, which must be a struggle for anyone over 5’ 6”, the duo still manage to reach in and engage with the audience and even join them. Not even the middle of the fourth row is safe from the pair’s antics. Their boldness, the pace of the show, and possibly the 10pm time slot, means that the audience plays along well.
The duo’s skill is further displayed as the audience is used to help pick the style a number will be sung in, with the lyrics made up as the song progressed, using prompts from a member of the audience bought up on stage.
The show then takes a turn, moving from storytelling to teaching and the reference to the revolution comes to the fore with the introduction of Mr Little Red Book’s Guide to Good Sex. Mimed to a recording, Victor Victoria becomes a set backdrop, with prop ‘puppets’, as Byrne takes the role of Mr Little Red Book. The inclusion of Australian references proves that these two performers from East London have done their homework and adapted their show for the Adelaide audience. From this the duo go on to employ other methods to teach the audience important issues, such as how to notice the wrong men, and dealing with certain needs.
The roars of laughter, singing along and gasps at the level these two will go to, are testament to the fun that you’ll have with EastEnd Cabaret.
Reviewed by Jade Kops, special guest Fringe Critic, Glam Adelaide
Venue: The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Le Cascadeur, Rundle Park/Kadlitpinna Cnr East Tce & Rundle Road, Adelaide
Season: 10pm, Fri 24 Feb – Sun 4 March, Tues 6 – Sun 18 March 2012
Tickets: $20 to $24
Bookings: Fringetix 1300-FRINGE (1300-374643), their outlets or online