19
Aug
13

Confessions of a Control Freak

 

Confessions of a Control Freak

Judith Wright Centre & Belinda Raisin

Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

15 – 17  August 2013

 

Reviewed by Meredith Walker

 

A cabaret for the over-committed.

 

Frances is caught in the rat trap of this multi-tasking, multi-vitamin, multi-media modern era. When she attempts to trade now now now for a little namaste, her carefully controlled existence rapidly unravels, revealing the virtues of procrastination and the joys of mixing yoga and alcohol.

 

Returning to Brisbane direct from the Melbourne Cabaret Festival, former ballerina and self-confessed control freak Belinda Raisin (Rabbit, April’s Fool) is joined by pitch-perfect pianist Jamie Teh. Totally blind since birth, Jamie boasts the best ears in the business.

 

Pianist and Composer Jamie Teh 

 
Musical Director and Composer Jen Teh 

 
Creative Consultant Alison St Ledger 

 

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Confessions of a Control Freak is a show of stand-up and song that clearly illustrates how life is indeed a cabaret. Channelling her alter-ego, list-loving lady Frances, Belinda Raisin invites the audience into her personal hysteria, one confession at a time. It is a performance that progresses from perkiness to poignancy within the space of an hour.

 

It begins with revelation of the virtues of procrastination and the merits of mixing yoga and wine, yet surprisingly moves to a point of heart-felt emotion as Frances contemplates crossing children off her ‘to-do’ list. Frances may be a caricature, however, through this conclusion, Raisin creates an unanticipated depth of honest reflection to her character.

 

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The show is as much celebratory as reflective. After all, a performance in which audience members are served red wine from a roller-blading RSA-licensed leading lady cannot take itself too seriously. This is reinforced by its soundtrack of catchy cabaret-styled songs, ranging from A Spoonful of Sugar (to help the medicinal wine go down) to Adele’s Someone Like You longingly lauded to one of Frances’s deceased pets.

 

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Confessions of a Control Freak is very much a festival show and, as such, it is well suited to the communal cabaret environment at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. It is a chaotic ride and one that is loads of fun due to its relatability to all caught in their own ‘mess of me’ or just those who like to vacuum in roller blades.

 

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