Review: ANNE EDMONDS in Ever Since the Dawn of Anne

A side-splitting night of songs, sin, Maccas mayhem and banjo-playing

By Maxine Montgomery

In Ever Since the Dawn of Anne, Anne Edmonds attempts to cover everything she’s ever done wrong. Before the show, I noticed on three sticks (or are they canes?) in a cylindrical vessel on the stage. In the front row, a fellow audience member gestured towards the stage and was heard to say, “She’s evil”. Were we all about to receive a good beating?

What the audience did receive was a highlights tour through Anne’s various crimes and misdemeanours – cigarettes, beer, vodka, hangover recovery, desperate attempts to get a man’s interest, driving disasters and more. Opening the show with an original title track, Anne immediately had the audience on side.

It would be hard to conceive of a person who would not be drawn in by Anne singing the line “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned” – a line she follows up with an inane yet winning smile. It was a fabulous through-line to the show to hear this main theme on piano as a recurring bookend to each new story.

Following the opening song, Anne walked us through two long stories of wrong doings from early in her life. Some performers attempting extended sections of dialogue that aren’t broken up by songs may struggle to keep an audience engaged, but Anne’s inimitable delivery – the right mix of charm & self-deprecation – had me totally absorbed, and fascinated to see what was going to be the next thing to come out of her mouth.

My favourite moment in the show was Anne announcing that the next confession to be so shocking that it had to be told in song – a morning-after-the-night-before trip to the local Maccas drive-thru which ended in the most horrifyingly expensive scenario imaginable! I have to say I laughed till I cried.

Anne’s partner-in-crime is her accompanist, Amy Bennett. Amy’s piano expertise is most evident, and it was wonderful to see their collaboration, with Amy so competently providing harmony vocals to Anne’s melodies.

For a highly amusing evening with this pelvis-thrusting, banjo-playing troublemaker, get along to Anne’s second and final show tonight for the Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Thursday July 21st at 6:30pm in the Lamond Room, South Melbourne Town Hall. Tickets available at melbournecabaret.com or by calling 1300 640 801, or visit the festival box office located outside the South Melbourne Town Hall.

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