Halloween horrors worth feasting upon
By Emma Muiznieks
Walking slowly into the showroom at The Butterfly Club, Bradley Storer tells us his favourite fairy tale, one filled with murder, music and ghosts. This sets the scene perfectly for the following hour, as he takes us through the dark, sordid (and hopefully fictitious!) history of his family tree.
We are treated to a mix of personal anecdotes and theatrical readings from the family codex he compiled going back hundreds of years. These stories are interspersed with songs accompanied by Ben Kiley and ranging from Nick Cave and the Dresden Dolls to Kylie and Garfunkel & Oates, not to mention a very funny take on a classic Broadway hit by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Storer has crafted a stage persona that is both endearing and sinister, a cheeky lad who goes through life with an invisible peanut gallery of voices in his head. This polarity of character allows him to move into darker areas that may not suit the seven o’clock timeslot without losing his audience.
Indeed, Storer’s portrayal of a man’s decent into insanity, executed with such utter conviction, left the audience breathless and almost uncomfortable from the reality of the performance, and yet Storer was able to snap us back skilfully with just the right amount of levity.
As smooth and versatile as his vocals are (a haunting rendition of I Just Can’t Get You Out Of My Head in particular shows off his amazing range and easy tone), it is as a storyteller that Storer really shines. The creepy tales are evocatively written, with strong narratives and vivid imagery, and the sombre delivery draws you in so well that you can clearly see every tiny detail in your mind’s eye.
When he is not singing or reading stories, Storer’s interaction with the audience can feel a little wooden, and there is a tendency to perform to the back wall rather than the people in front of him, however these issues are bound to disappear with time and experience.
Bloodlines runs the gamut from hysterically funny to positively bone-chilling, and is an excellent example of a classic cabaret experience. Storer has immense potential as a performer and artist, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
Venue: The Butterfly Club
Dates: Thur-Sun 27-30 Oct
Time: 7pm Thur-Sat, 6pm Sun