Tag: Michael Roulston

Roulston and Young Present SONGS FOR LOVERS (AND OTHER IDIOTS)

Fantastically funny

By Bradley Storer

British cabaret stalwarts Michael Roulston and Sarah-Louise Young bring their acclaimed song-writing prowess to Melbourne audiences in their fluffy but barbed presentation Songs for Lovers (And Other Idiots).

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The two performers have a wonderful playful chemistry, bouncing off each other and interacting with the audience to create a delightful and fun atmosphere from the very start. Young is a joyful and radiant performer, taking the lead on most songs with her crystalline soprano and is equally compelling when she is lusting after a (fictionalized) younger man as she is playing the character of a divorcee struggling to overcome her loss. Roulston is her Puck-like and mischievous counterpart, quick with an incisive comeback and an arched eyebrow to the audience, providing harmonies, counter-pointing and even taking over for a song where he has to admit to a shameful secret that I won’t reveal here (Hint: it involves Enya).

The pair have composed an hilarious collection of tunes that tackle both their own relationship and the many facets of modern dating and love, ranging from the straight girl/gay man dynamic, the difficulties of dating in middle age, the joys of contented singledom, even an epic ‘walk of shame’ more calamitous than The Odyssey. One particular song involving children was so funny and irreverent the audience (including this reviewer) were falling in the aisles laughing!

As the duo regaled the audience with their own tales of love and embarrassment, you could see many attendees nodding their heads in recognition – I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t see themselves, even in a small way, reflected in this comedic collection.

Lovers of original song-writing, lovers of cabaret comedy – heck, lovers in general will adore this show, so get in and see this delightful duo!

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne VIC 3000

Dates: Wed 21st – Sun 25th June

Time: 8:30pm

Prices: $32 Full, Concession $28, Members $26, Groups (6+) $25

Bookings: thebutterflyclub.com, or at the venue

Dusty Limits in GRIN

Suave and satirical cabaret charm

By Bradley Storer

Announced onstage by accompanist and co-composer Michael Roulston, Australian-born cabaret performer Dusty Limits burst onstage, suited in black with a hint of feathers, and charmingly commanded the audience from his first moment with clear expertise. Beginning with the cheerily negative ‘Is It Too Late?’, Dusty walked us through the back-catalogue of his songwriting with Roulston, interspersed with witty asides and remarks about the state of the modern world.

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One of the foremost performers in the European-Weimar cabaret tradition, Dusty was utterly charming and charismatic throughout the entire show, utilizing his crisp diction, a clear delectation for words and a warm and beautiful lower register to maximum effect, as well as a few well-placed and stunning high notes that thrilled with their power. The socially-critical aspect of Weimar cabaret was heavily present, with topics covered in the show included the hypocrisy of religious leaders, the ‘problems’ of the super rich and a touching elegy to the continuing problem of homelessness. Roulston’s sensitive and versatile accompaniment was a huge contributor to the impact of every song, and the pair’s long-standing collaboration was clearly evident with both responding instinctively to the rhythm of the other.

A clear audience favourite was a jaunty and macabre number about an undead family reunion, the weird and embarrassing members of the family inhabiting the song clearly familiar to many. And of course, another particularly hit was the number without which no dark and pessimistic cabaret is complete: the drinking song.

Some of the particularly British references in the song may have gone over the audience’s head, but the misanthropic humour was most definitely universal. If you have a taste for the twisted and the dark, catch this homegrown treasure while you still can!

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne VIC 3000

Dates: Wed 21st – Sunday 25th June.

Time: 7pm

Prices: $32 Full, $28 Concession, Members $26, Groups (6+) $25

Bookings: thebutterflyclub.com, or at the venue.