Cabaret efficiency at maximum

By Vikki Doig

Confessions of a Control Freak is a cleverly-crafted, highly energetic tale all too familiar to the modern woman – the seemingly never-ending pursuit for perfection, control and balance in an unforgiving and sleepless society.

Confessions of a Control Freak

Channelling her alter-ego, the ultra-efficient Frances, Belinda Raisin invites the audience into her descent into disarray, one confession at a time. From the moment she pitter-pattered onto the stage on full ballet-pointe, we could tell that this was a woman on a mission. Her dance, though precise, determined and controlled to begin with soon became manic and chaotic.

Frances crooned about her lust for lists, got side-tracked and served wine to the audience whilst on roller blades, tore her clothes off in an ode to bikram yoga (it’s getting hot in here) and delivered an evangelical advocacy for procrastination which made me want to holler “Hallelujah sister!”

Raisin’s command of the stage was excellent and her energy unflappable. But just as I thought it was all getting too much, we were reined back in with a confession which was delivered with such sincerity and poignancy it made all of the confusion of the previous 50 minutes make sense. I had goosebumps as Raisin belted out a gorgeous rendition of Jessie J’s “Who You Are”, giving us a moment of stillness to reflect and give ourselves permission to be imperfect.

Frances may have been a caricature, but Raisin created a depth and honesty to her character which made the show a real joy to be a part of. And as we left The Butterfly Club, my partner said to me “there were parts of that show where she could have been talking about you.” I guess there’s a bit of Frances in all of us.

I would also like to make special mention of Raisin’s sensational accompanist, Jamie Teh, who, although completely blind, never missed a beat through Raisin’s well-chosen (and highly choreographed) playlist of rewritten pop gems.

Confessions of a Control Freak appears at The Butterfly Club for a very concise 3-show run for this year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival, with its final performance tomorrow night (July 4) at 7pm. Procrastination not recommended – get your tickets now!

$25 Full,
$23 Conc
, $20 Group (8+)