By Narelle Wood
Trickster is a cabaret stripped down and redressed to reveal the sinister side of the musical genre.
Performed by Bradley Storer, the show begins in the shadows with a great rendition of Kate Bush’s “Babushka”, and then briefly hovers around the expected with some songs and jokes about sex. But just when I thought it was going to be a show based on easy laughs, Storer plunges head-first into the darkness of a number of insensitive topics. There are a few haunting arrangements of some popular songs to drive the insensitivities home: pop songs with a happy-go-lucky vibe all of a sudden take on an entirely new, and extremely menacing, meaning.
The song selection is a fascinating mix, from Aqua to Rage Against the Machine, with a brilliant mash up of Guns ‘N’ Roses and Judy Garland. Under the direction of Emma Clair Ford, Storer delivers some must-see moments; a tap dance that words could not possible describe and an execution of a Dresden Dolls ‘classic’ that borders on the sociopathic.
There are tasteless jokes touching on a whole range on taboo topics, but Storer seems to have found the line between funny and offensive, often acknowledging that he is pushing the boundaries of socially acceptable comedy. Some of the funniest moments come from Storer’s self-deprecating humour where he unabashedly voices what everybody is probably thinking. This, coupled with Storer’s interaction with the audience, makes the show charming despite the disturbing and sometimes ominous topics of choice.
Trevor Jones, the accompanist, provides a stellar performance on the piano, adding more to the show than the instrumental. Jones’ interactions with Storer, along with the lighting (provided on the night by Sam Duncan), work together to alter the mood of the show, sometimes instantaneously. There was one point that the lighting of Storer’s pale made-up skin was so eerie that we could have been watching a dead man singing on stage…
While the show purports to be a ‘dark-indie cabaret’, it is so much more; it’s also very funny and strangely cathartic. If you have an hour to spare, go indulge the more disturbed parts of your sense of humour and see Trickster.
Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Season: 8.30pm Until 7th Feb
Tickets: $32 Full | $28 Conc