Tag: Tom Pitts

REVIEW: Alex Roe in HERE COMES YOUR MAN

Getting ready for a hit

By Myron My

In Here Comes Your Man for the 2013 Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Alex Roe plays a hit man – a very successful hit man who has a slight career crisis when he meets the beautiful Abigail.

Roe has some good storytelling abilities and the twists and turns in his story were highly engaging without any lulls in this cabaret tale full of crime, death and love. Roe incorporates a nice level of dry humour and drama and seems very relaxed with his delivery and interaction with the audience.

Photo by Shoot at Everyone Imaging

As a performer, when you start to involve audience members in your act you do run the risk of inadvertently breaking character but watching Roe on stage, I did not feel as if he was an actor remembering his lines but found myself quite invested that this man really was a conflicted contract killer!

Here Comes Your Man has a good variety of songs but some of them did slow down the proceedings and cause Roe to lose the intensity he had built up, especially in the middle of the show. It seemed sometimes that either the song was not well-matched to Roe’s voice or it did not add to the story. However the songs where this was definitely not the case and were show highlights included Fairground Attraction’s ‘Perfect’ and (aptly) The Pixies’ ‘Here Comes Your Man’.

Roe is joined on staged by accompanist Tom Pitts and I honestly have never seen a pianist get so wonderfully involved into the music he is playing – his performance was flawless and fluid from beginning to end.

On this occasion, Here Comes Your Man was performed as a workshop season with Attic Erratic with plans of a full season run at the Melbourne Fringe Festival later this year. The concept is unique and interesting and Roe has the skill and charisma to eventually turn this show into the cabaret ‘hit’ it deserves to be.

This production took place on July 3 and 4 at The Butterfly Club as part of the Melbourne Cabaret Festival.

Review: AD NAUSEUM

A beautiful tale of a terrible man

By Adam Tonking

Ad Nauseam, created by Tom Pitts and performed by Nick Bendall with Kate Laverack and Grace Travaglia, is the story of one rather unlikeable man and the drunken destructive path he cuts through one night in the city. But the story itself is only the beginning of this wonderful production.

Pitts’ text, one long rant, is almost poetic, reminiscent of those long-dead beat poets Kerouac and Ginsberg and through Pitts’ treatment of the language, transforms a gritty loathsome bender into something romantic and poignant.

His despicable narrator seems lost and forlorn, even while his actions paint him as an arrogant pig, somehow you want to be the one to save him. I did find the insertion of a few topical one-liners jarring and unnecessary, however they did receive the biggest laughs of the night. The text is performed in counterpoint with a score also composed by Pitt, and the interaction between the two beautifully underpins the ebb and flow of the piece.

Playing the part of this narrator, Bendall brings a rascally quality to the character’s unpleasant tendencies, charming the audience with his antics as opposed to repelling us. His physicality in performing this piece was a work of art, like mime bordering on dance, depicting the world and the people he interacts with through mere controlled movements and poses of his constantly working body, from delicate and beautiful to aggressive and masculine. Fascinating to watch.

Haunting him throughout the piece are the spectres of the two women who started him on this downward spiral, played by Laverack and Travaglia, who never speak a word, but manage to convey everything they need to through the movement of their bodies.

Ad Nauseam is a masterful work, using poetry, mime, dance, music, lighting – all the elements available to create a phenomenal, tragic and romantic piece. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

This production is showing at La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street Carlton, from Wednesday 21 March till Sunday 1 April, 6.30pm Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, 8.30pm Thursday and Saturday. Book at www.lamama.com.au or by calling 03 9347 6142.