REVIEW: Tommy Bradson in PIRATE RHAPSODY MERMAID REQUIEM

Down into cabaret depths with this seductive and scurvy tale…

By Kate Boston Smith

Tommy Bradson is a passionate performer who barely draws breath during his poetic and emblazed performance.

His cabaret Pirate Rhapsody Mermaid Requiem for the Melbourne Cabaret Festival is an unbridled verbal and musical explosion about love, life, sex and all the murky waters in between. 

It is as though he has been set adrift and drunk the waters on which he floats to then return in search of truth and real connection. 

Celebrating curiosity in a scene where he explores “Without wonder where would we be?”, his show condemns the mediocre meanderings of taken-for-granted lives.

Split into two stories, Bradson’s cabaret serves up a feast of tales and observations.  His words ignite, lighting up the dark theatrette with a blaze that lingers long after he has continued into his next thought. 

Bradson performs in thick accents, one being old, rich, Irish and at times almost impossible to decipher.  This is by no means a hindrance to the performance as it draws you further in.

Moreover Bradson holds his audience by the balls, or whatever they consider safe and dear to them

There are few performers who can write and deliver shows to this magnitude of divine agony without making the audience cringe or wish they were elsewhere. 

Pirate Rhapsody Mermaid Requiem is a one-man show with the spirit of 10-strong cast.  It moves, dances, provokes, interacts and evokes sentiment we can relate to in our darkest hours….all with the sharp slap of dark humour to it

This is a show that could nestle into the bosom off Broadway or in the crotch of the theatre-set in East London.  It is poetic, it is raw and it is not for the faint hearted.

Pirate Rhapsody Mermaid Requiem is part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival 2011

Written and Performed by Tommy Bradson


Composed and Arranged by John Thorn

Final festival show tonight Thursday 21 July, 8.15pm


Tickets $33 / $30

The Incubator, Auspicious Arts, 228 Bank Street, South Melbourne

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