Fringe Review – Miss Conlin Confesses

Miss Conlin ConfessesPresented by CarCon Productions
Reviewed Sunday 3rd March 2013

Miss Colin Confesses is a comic tale of two personas sharing one very heavy handbag in this highly engaging cabaret performance at this year’s Adelaide Fringe!

Miss Conlin is a high school English teacher, although her training was actually in Drama. During the day she is required to dress soberly and discretely and conduct herself with appropriate dignity and decorum. This can be very frustrating, of course, if your life plan whilst at university was about as far away from that career as one can get. Miss Conlin, however, has a secret that she about to reveal. She lives a completely different life outside of school hours.

Her out of school activity also has a dress code and an expected behaviour pattern, but they are nothing like the ones imposed by the education authorities. After school, you see, she is a Burlesque performer. Miss Conlin is faced with the constant dilemma of keeping her two lives separate, and that is the subject of this highly engaging cabaret performance.

Carla Conlin bases her performance on fact, as she is a frustrated Drama teacher, now teaching English, and among her many other talents, she is a Burlesque artist. She is also a model (she was to present this show last year, but cancelled to fly interstate to model for Dita Von Teese), dancer, actress, and singer, and she draws on these many skills in this very funny cabaret performance.

She reveals the pitfalls of having two such diverse careers, and the dangers of being at one job and slipping up in an unguarded moment, letting something from the other job intrude momentarily, with embarrassing but hilarious consequences. From Avenue Q she begins the show, after attempting to call the roll, by asking the question, What Can You Do With A BA In Drama? (originally a BA in English). The collection of songs that she has selected for this performance not only fit into the narrative but are immensely varied, demonstrating her skill with comic, as well as serious songs, and her amazing vocal range, as well as her ability to change the timbre of her voice and accent. Her send up of American country singers on R E S P E C T is a prime example.

But wait, there’s more. Alongside the comedy, singing, acting and dancing there is an unforgettable visual component, as Conlin regularly switches to and fro between careers, slipping behind a screen to change costumes and reappearing in a gorgeous range of Burlesque outfits.

She is ably assisted by Adelaide’s most sought after accompanist, Matthew Carey, who runs cabaret workshops and master classes in Adelaide attended by people from all over Australia and, last time, one from overseas. They have worked together before and the rapport between them is clearly seen. Carey is not only an exceptional accompanist, he also contributes to the comedy.

Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.

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CarCon Productions web site

Venue: Promethean, Grote Street, Adelaide
Season: ended
Duration: 50 mins

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