EastEnd Cabaret is not for the awkward or faint of heart; this duo from the UK are up-close and personal from the word go. Enigmatic, sexy Bernadette Byrne (widely described as the ‘deviant diva’) seduces the audience from behind black bangs, dominating the stage from the moment she rides in on her two-headed man beast until she closes the show with the catchiest masturbation song you will ever hear.
While a sultry cabaret singer is hardly bringing something new to the table; it is the ‘half moustachioed musician’, Victor Victoria, who lifts the show from a rather good performance to a sensational must-see. Quite literally dressed half-and-half from make-up to shoes, she is the perfect foil to the overtly sexual Byrne, full of hilariously apt side remarks and exaggerated facial expressions one cannot help but laugh at. Together, these two are a remarkable team and I think you would be hard pressed to find a better comedic combination, with Bernadette Byrne bringing the smutty sex and Victor Victoria the sharp, acidic wit.
However, a word to the wise: this show utilises a lot of audience participation and nowhere is safe, not even the middle of a row. For a woman in outrageously high heels, Bernadette can clamber over laps with unusual skill and seems to revel in making audience members uncomfortable with her close proximity. It’s confronting, it’s potentially sexual harassment, but that is exactly what EastEnd Cabaret is all about – making people uncomfortable by presenting them with sexual truths. Everyone masturbates. Everyone has sex. Why shouldn’t these every-day things be topics of conversation, or even songs?
It is time to talk dirty, so head along to the Idolize Spiegeltent in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, and let this outrageous duo make you laugh (and blush).
Reviewed by Emily Francine Palmer
Venue: Idolize Spiegeltent, The Garden of Unearthly Delights Adelaide
Season: 16 February – 16 March 2014
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $25.00 – $32.00
Bookings: Book through Adelaide Fringe Tix Online or call 1300 621 255
Disclosure: Emily has been employed as a ticketing officer at the Garden of Unearthly Delights.