Let’s face it, the Cabaret Festival might bring out the chardonnay sippers and the fedora wearers (particularly in force this year), but really it also brings out the freaks and the fabulous too.
Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen are strange bedfellows indeed. Part goth, part glam, part Addams Family their act is macabre and freaky with a healthy dose of opera thrown in.
Nothing is taboo in this show. If you’re squirmish with paedophilia, bestiality and kink then gird your loins and strap in for a bumpy ride folks because it’s all pretty downhill from here! Yes, some of the content is shocking, but there is an intelligence behind this humour that avoids tackiness. Plus them pipes! Both Dark and Breen have exceptional ranges and stunning tone that if you close your eyes, don’t listen to the words, and forget about the corsets, make up and bling, you’d swear you were at a classical recital.
But where’s the fun in that? (plus it’s a bit of a stretch) It’s much more entertaining to laugh uncomfortably at an aggressively German version of Tainted Love, or travel on a journey of sexual awakening of the homosexual kind. Surprisingly, it was a ballad about Dark’s experience with IVF at a “geriatric age” (over 35) that had the audience and performers blubbing unexpectedly with hints of Fantine (a la Les Miserables) tugging at the heartstrings.
The duo are musically directed and accompanied by Daryl Wallis on keys and the show is a tight, unique set that is really well suited to both the Artspace venue and the Cabaret Festival itself. One for the slightly kinky, yet musically discerning festival-goer.