Adelaide Cabaret Festival – REG

Tommy Bradson
Tommy Bradson

Tommy Bradson’s Reg Livermore tribute show REG is a blast! The show is a world premiere commissioned by Artistic Director Kate Ceberano for the 2013 Adelaide Cabaret Festival but it’s hard to imagine this show not touring Nationally and Internationally.

At 2 hours and 20 minutes including an interval, it is the longest show of the 2013 CabFest programme – buts it’s worth every second and with ticket prices beginning at $29.90 it’s worth every cent as well and if you go (which you should) don’t forget to take a peek at Reg Livermore: Souvenirs from the Stage an exhibition in the Festival Theatre Foyer Showcases.

Bradson has put together a worthy homage to an outstanding Australian and he has even received the highest honour of all  – the official stamp of approval from the man himself.

[pull_left]Reg is multidisciplinary arts theatre at it finest… it’s hard to imagine this show not touring Nationally and Internationally[/pull_left]

REG is multidisciplinary arts theatre at it finest with elements of Bradson’s Fringe/Street Performance roots. There’s stand-up comedy, surrealism, song and dance routines along with filmed interviews and original performance pieces of Livermore himself screened on the backdrop.

Bradson sets the show within a political context of gay (yes, including marriage) rights, workers rights and civil rights but it isn’t overt and the focus never strays from Livermore’s and Bradson’s ability for outrageously vulgar entertainment.

Naturally, Livermore’s characterisations are given an energised outing and Bradson’s waifish body is given a strong work out (and lots of exposure) in the guises of 'Betty Blockbuster', 'Leonard', 'Beryl At The Sink', 'Tara The Incredible', 'Vaseline Amalnitrate' and 'Carmen Marahuana' among others which are all completed with Livermore’s customarily flamboyant costumes.

In a traditional cabaret setting Bradson is ably supported by a 5 piece band and 2 burlesque backing singers. The show features songs by Elton John, Leo Sayer and Billy Joel but Bradson ends the show on a rousingly beautiful note with a performance of The Kinks’ 1972 ‘Celluloid Heroes’ which Livermore released as a single himself back in 1975. The audience applause was loud and long for a very good reason – (theoretically speaking) Bradson has consummated his relationship with Livermore and we all get to see the result.