Review: SHORT+SWEET CABARET

Short and sweet, just the way we like it.

By Deborah Langley

Who wouldn’t love something called Short + Sweet? In this age of fast food, quick chats and instant messages, cutting our cabaret into short and sweet little ten-minute morsals sound absolutely perfect to me.

For the 2011 Melbourne Cabaret Festival an even smaller package of the Short + Sweet Cabaret series, normally performed at Chapel Off Chapel in November, has been delicately assembled into a one-hour package.

That means, five acts in under sixty minutes – if you don’t like one, just wait ten minutes, ‘cos I am sure you will find something to love in this little collection. So let’s have a look at what they have put together for us:

First up is Mercedes-Benz: Awkwardly. And I’ve got to say, yes she does. I didn’t know where to look for some of this one and I still saw parts of the female anatomy I wasn’t expecting. This honest and raw show by Hannah Williams is a ‘how to’ from the world of stripping. Jumping from documentary-style dialogue,  how-to-instruction and insightful versions of some kitch pop songs, if you ever wondered what it was like to be a stripper, this one’s for you. For me through it was a little too real!

From reality we jump to the farcical with Porcelain Punch Travelling Medicine Show. This one would have to be my favourite of the night, complete with piano accordion and missing teeth. The trio comprised of Emilie Johnston, Madeline Hudson and Paul Bourke performed miracles as a member of the audience went from crippled to dancing a jig in just a few moments. Great characters, great music and a great gimick! They will keep you laughing and thoroughly entertained – old school style!

Two of a Kind is next up, when two identical twins sing about life as a twin, the benefits and pitfalls. This show kept me smiling and is defiantly very very sweet. The twins Dace and Mara Kapsis are very likable with angelic voices and lovely harmonies.

For a single girl, I could completely relate to the next act. Torn: Ten Minutes of First Dates delivers exactly what is says it will in a hilarious and brilliant show. Through song and witty banter we see one guy’s last four dates. Jordan Bowering meets the lier, the nerd, the attached and after three disasters he tries out the non-date. All written and performed with wonderful and relatable humor. A close contender for favourite of the night.

Time to put the laughter aside for the last show of the night, Chants Des Catacombes is a French tragedy that would have Edith Piaf relating. Our mournful songstress plays a beautiful harp and tells tales of woe, how she fell in love and then met her end… but I can’t help but feel that I missed out because I don’t speak French. Although for Anna Boulic, as with Edith Piaf, the message still came through beautifully.

So if you want a night of cabaret with a bit of something for everyone head down to Short + Sweet Cabaret as part of the . Performances in the Council Chambers of the South Melbourne Town Hall @ 6.15pm until this Sunday

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