Tag: Madeline Hudson

REVIEW: UNTITLED, OR THE SEAT OF NARCISSA

Faultlessly funny

By Ross Larkin

From the outset, a certain curiosity swells at the prospect of a play with no title, while simultaneously bearing a highly distinct and decided one. This is not coincidental, but rather a sneaky peak into the contrary madness that awaits in writer/director Sofia Chapman’s hilarious new production.

Untitled or The Seat of Narcissa.jpg

Initially a love triangle between three quirky, tenacious women, Untitled, or The Seat of Narcissa quickly evolves to include multiple love-crazed subjects in a chaotic swarm of hysteria while infidelity and passion abound along with music, dancing and poetry.
Penny Larkins is the egocentric and deceitful Viscountess Narcissa, who chews up her lovers and spits them out, all the while demanding the utmost respect and attention.
Falling under her spell are Erica Chestnut as the sassy Duchess of Dullcote and Kate Hosking as feisty go-getter, Baroness of Inverness, while Narcissa’s seemingly dazed and confused servant, Marcello, played by Madeline Hudson, intersects the melodrama with great intrigue.

The humour and wit of Chapman’s writing is immediate and doesn’t stall for a single moment, aided by a strong and energetic cast whose comic timing and delivery had the audience cackling from beginning to end.

Chapman is also responsible for the hilariously witty poetry which merges with the play beautifully, as well as the very fitting and engaging music and comical lyrics. Hudson’s song on the accordion with Hosking on the cello about knowing a Jewish person is a particularly priceless moment.

Add to the mix some wacky and amusing dancing, gorgeous costumes and a slew of double entendres and clever one-liners and the result is a barrel of non-stop laughs, comparable to the likes of Monty Python, Black Adder and Absolutely Fabulous. This is one Midsumma show for the top of your list!

Untitled, or The Seat of Narcissa is playing now at La Mama, 205 Faraday street, Carlton until January 31st.

Tickets available at http://lamama.com.au/ or on (03) 9347 6948.
Image by Annabel Warmington
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REVIEW: Porcelain Punch Travelling Medicine Show

Porcelain Punch: It’s the pick of the bunch

By Deborah Langley

The Butterfly Club has been transformed from quirky little cabaret venue into a big top for the Porcelain Punch Traveling Medicine Show being performed as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2011.

The show begins in the style of a silent movie before our performers take to the stage to announce our evening’s sponsor (all great shows must have a great sponsor, right?)

This show is sponsored by Porcelain Punch If you haven’t heard of it, you will by the end of the night!

I personally am sold on its medically proven abilities: why, it’s the creme del a creme of health tonics, god bless!

The evening is hosted by two exceptional performers, MC Lenny (Luke O’Connor) & Miss Ellie Mae Rose (Madeline Hudson) who keeps the audience in wonderment as the proof of the punch is explored through the experiences of those who get to try just a sip. 

Hudson is a standout as she sings and accompanies most tunes and performs with the most wickedly expressive face that suits the era to a tee (oops, I mean ‘punch’).

Other highlights have to include when our MCs were able to cure a man from the audience of… (What was it he had? Gangrene?) One sip of the tonic and he was dancing a jig in perfect health.

Audiences are enchanted by some great sideshow characters and their unique approach to the ridiculous.

The ensemble including Alexander Gellman, Emilie Minks, Christy Flaws and Kate Boston Smith bring farcical humor, unique circus skills, hilarious satire and just a touch of magic to the stage in a night of old school entertainment at its best.

True to form, the Porcelain Punch Traveling Medicine Show is a gang of misfits that roll into town to perform their tricks with great enthusiasm and humor.

A brilliant show which I recommend you all brave the cold nights to see, before they blow out of town again.

Dates: Tues 27 Sept – Sun 2nd Oct

Times: Tues, Weds, Sun at 8pm – Thurs, Fri, Sat at 9pm

Tickets:$27, $24 conc, $23 groups 8+

The Butterfly Club, 204 Bank St, South Melbourne

Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com

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