Posts Tagged ‘rumour has it

30
May
17

Lady Beatle

 

Lady Beatle

La Boite Theatre Company & The Little Red Company

La Boite Roundhouse Theatre

May 25 – June 3 2017

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.

John Lennon

We used to sing a song to Poppy when she was little.

Ladybug, ladybug, landed on my stinky toe….. It was so funny; we would giggle and sing bits of it intermittently for days at a time. It still makes me smile (and if we’re honest, we still sing it from time to time).

Did you even know that lady beetles don’t see colour? They see only grey. Perhaps I knew this once, or I should have known it, since my dad is an entomologist and no doubt has told me this and many other fascinating insect facts, but I think I’d forgotten. I’ve never forgotten rowdy closing night parties and random days and nights throughout my childhood, singing The Beatles’ songs at the tops of our voices. There are things that contribute far more than other things to the grown ups we become, and if The Beatles were part of your childhood or adolescent soundtrack too, you probably turned out alright. Poppy, now eleven, agrees that The Beatles are timeless, for every generation, “even if not ALL of my friends have a favourite Beatles’ song.” Poppy’s favourite Beatles’ song is, appropriately, Here Comes The Sun. If you know Poppy, you know how perfect that is.

I’ve been thinking about Lady Beetle Syndrome a lot. A major aspect of our Master of Professional Practice Performing Arts is psychology and self care, and the way in which we, as artists, look after ourselves and support each other. And just as the lady beetles don’t see their own bold beauty, despite our strengths and reflective practice, we often fail to recognise in ourselves the things that appear obvious to everyone else.

 

This sensational show, the third and final in The Little Red Company’s trilogy of pop culture cabaret productions starring Naomi Price (following the hugely successful Wrecking Ball & Rumour Has It), depended largely upon La Boite’s recognition of the company’s previous success and their faith in the creation of new product, even before the creators knew what it would look like. With only the title to start the process, La Boite held space, gifting the luxury of time to the artists, who were able to immerse themselves in a truly collaborative development period in between the demands of touring, managing to keep Rumour Has It on the road while writing and rehearsing Lady Beatle. I don’t think any of our artists strive to be owned by a venue, but La Boite’s Todd MacDonald, like QPAC’s John Kotzas, and our other industry leaders (at Queensland Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and Metro Arts), has certainly provided the vital support that makes it less stressful and more enjoyable to be an artist, or a company of artists, creating new work in Australia. Sam Strong was right to insist we begin to recognise that we are, indeed, leading from Queensland in so many ways.

Premiering on the 50th Anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, this production is the ultimate deep and meaningful feel-good show, with a guaranteed touring life ahead of it. It goes to Adelaide and Noosa next, and I’ll be surprised if we don’t see it back in town in September for Brisbane Festival. Imagine, in the Spiegeltent! But like Rumour Has It, when it moved to more spacious venues, this show is bound to take on a different vibe, and I do love the intimacy of this first version, using cabaret seating in The Roundhouse, and allowing us to feel as if the stories are special secrets shared between Lady Beatle and her closest friends, i.e. anyone who loves The Beatles as much as she does.

Co-creators, Naomi Price and Adam Brunes, just about perfected contemporary cabaret with the many incarnations of Rumour Has It, but this time they’ve made the experience more personal. Rather than taking on multiple roles or an iconic role, Price is a complex, compelling, mysterious woman from Liverpool who loves The Beatles. She loves them more than anything else in the world. She was there at the Cavern in 1962 for their first ever performance, and recalls watching them running, with nothing to lose, towards the light at the end of a dark tunnel, and into a crowd of hundreds of screaming fans. No fear. Just running towards it all. In the music and personalities of the lads she finds her escape and inspiration, and a way back to a world in which she thought she’d never belong.

With The Beatles in it, the woman’s grey world becomes kaleidoscopic and full of promise.

A rousing, crowd pleasing Yellow Submarine sounds just the way we thought it might (and yes, we sing along), but new musical arrangements allow for a raw, sweet, pure Penny Lane and a dark, sombre, somehow sadder than ever Eleanor Rigby. Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, The Camerata, play Andrew Johnson’s original string arrangement (recorded, mixed and mastered by Geoff McGahan). In true sharing culture style, The Little Red Company has made this stunning track available to download for FREE. The Lonely Hearts Club Band comprises four lads who are easily among our country’s best musicians; we’ve seen the proof of it in previous productions. They are Jason McGregor, Andrew Johnson, Michael Manikus and Mik Easterman. They scrub up well, in suits by Leigh Buchanan. Price wears knee highs and a mod woollen coat dress to start and a sparkling classic red pants suit to finish; very Elle Macpherson/Goldie Hawn/Celine Dion, and both outfits are just right with her black bobbed hair. Jamie Taylor’s sound design and engineering is first class, and Jason Glenwright’s tubular lighting is both practical and magical, retaining the focus on the singer and the songs.

Although I actually want to see Price singing it, it’s fitting that a rendition of Blackbird comes literally out of the dark. Let It Be wraps a proper rock medley, and it’s an ear worm of inspiration and comfort, a reminder of the present moment, to continue to “hurry slowly” through life from the place of stillness and self-love that’s easy enough to find in our quieter moments, but so difficult to carry with us as we go into our busy days and nights.

Lady Beatle is mostly upbeat, but it has some beautifully charged and reflective moments, and while it’s a tribute, with its focus firmly on the life affirming, world changing music of The Beatles, we’re invited to go deeper to consider everything that’s precious in our lives right now. Price is in fine voice; she can twist and shout and whisper and croon and rock! The ultimate entertainer, she opens (and closes) the show with a bang, settling into a friendly, intimate tone from the outset, simply inviting us to join her on a trip down memory lane, into a world of tangerine trees, marmalade skies, and strawberry fields forever. It’s a brilliant concept, a massively appealing and entertaining show, superbly delivered. We’re left with a sneaking suspicion that there’s more to come.

When the band plays and the voice soars, and the entire sold-out opening night crowd sings along, you know you’re at one of the best new shows of the decade. You know you’ll get to see it again.

 

16
Jan
17

Rumour Has It

Rumour Has It

The Little Red Company

Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre

January 13 – 14 2017

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

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If you were around a few years ago, you might recall a random little cabaret space above a Swedish restaurant in Albion named Stockholm Syndrome. Sadly, the venue disappeared, but The Little Red Company’s Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele has continued to evolve since its short stint there, in front of sixty people per night during Queensland Cabaret Festival, leaping from stage to stage, and reaching a loyal band of followers as well as bringing brand new audiences to Cabaret, and to the world of sassy superstar singer-songwriter, Adele.

Created by Adam Brunes and Naomi Price on a patio one night over a bottle of gin, as all the best works are, the multi-award winning Rumour Has It was immediately a brilliant and poignant, hilarious and highly entertaining show. Each reincarnation has proved hugely satisfying and in its current form, the most impressive yet, Rumour Has It is more sophisticated and more memorable than ever. It’s ready to tour the world…but first, a national tour, beginning with the highly anticipated three-shows-only season at THE HOUSE OF POWER.

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For the first time, by popular demand, Little Red offered an all-ages version of Rumour Has It. Based on the success of their recent sell-out season in Kuala Lumpur – no (swearing) and thank you please, Madam – giving the youth a chance to see for themselves what all the fuss is about, however; it wasn’t the show Poppy and I wanted to see. My ten-going-on-thirty-year-old had patiently waited for her father to give up his +1 status and accepted there’d be a fuckload of swearing on Friday night, which was “in the context of the show”.

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In role as Adele, frocked up again in Leigh Buchanan’s sensational original designs (and delightedly, barefoot before the final number), Price shares delicious home truths about growing up in Tottenham, surviving/thriving after break-ups and gives us her cheeky, self-satisfied account of her meteoric rise to fame. The story segments, political references and razor sharp responses to audience input are fast, fresh and funny. Price is more adept in front of a live audience than most, the old patter landing as squarely as when we first heard it in 2012 and the new material testament to the bold wit of this writing duo, who have wisely updated the set list too, to include Adele’s latest hits. Hello is a stirring finish before the final encore, and the Adele Megamix 3000 created especially to give credit to the amazing musicians and vocalists with whom Price shares the stage.

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For the first time, the Camerata, Brisbane’s chamber orchestra, are featured throughout, adding depth to a Spice Girls medley (who would’ve thought!?), and rich layers to Adele’s catalogue of songs. The original string arrangements by Andrew Johnson are most notable after Interval (Sound by Jamie Taylor), taking Skyfall into the stratosphere while silver confetti rains down onto the stage. At the other end of the spectrum, during the acoustic Daydreamer, we’re not so much surrounded by bubbles (visually spectacular in a previous season), as witness to a gentle reminder that this is a show so good it insists on returning to us time and time again despite the challenges faced by Australian artists generally, i.e. coming up with dollars for special effects and spaces…

The band, comprising Michael Manikus (keys), Jason McGregor (guitar), Scotty French (bass) and Mik Easterman (drums) is the slickest, and if you’ve supported the artists by taking home a CD of the show, recorded live at the Judith Wright Centre, you’ll also hear Brett Fowler on keys and Andrew Johnson on bass as well as Tom Oliver singing vocals (he’s currently touring in Velvet). On vocals this time, the incomparable Luke Kennedy returns to join sensational husband and wife team, Lai Utovou and Rachel Everett-Jones. Until you’ve seen this trio perform, you ain’t seen or heard backing vocals. They’re dynamic and disciplined, and they each shine, Price rightly giving them a moment in the spotlight before the night is over. (Previously, we’ve seen them in brighter light from the start and I’d love to see more of them again next time, rather than straining to see them against the black tabs. The same can be said of Manikus, disappearing at times into the shadows on the opposite side of the stage). I’ve always adored Jason Glenwright’s design featuring vintage lampshades and in THE HOUSE OF POWER the warm, glowing effect is not lost. Even in this spacious venue, we feel warmth and intimacy (and splintering pain during Someone Like You), and the genuine affection Price feels for her Brisbane audience, even those from Woodridge…

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The sound is heavenly (largely due to Price bravely investing as much of her personal story in the songs as her reading of Adele’s; it’s there in the intimacy and connection she creates with her audience with a superb voice, stronger than ever, and a great big open heart). Not to be discounted or taken for granted, it’s incredibly rare to get the same level of energy and commitment at the same time from such a large number of performers on stage (it’s what’s often missing from so many sold-out smash-hit mega musicals and why we come away from them satisfied but without minds blown), but this company radiates joy; it’s impossible to leave the show feeling anything less than rapture. Really. (Let’s add to the Little Red Must Write List, a Blondie show).

Rumour Has It has come of age; it’s the best it’s ever been. With all the pieces in place, this Rumour Has It is ready for Royal Albert Hall. Naomi Price is as good as Adele – better, because she’s ours – and this production is surely the country’s most accomplished showcase of the sort of humble, sensational Australian talent that’s consistently wowing overseas presenters and punters. And all this from a little Queensland company that could.

This is not the end. Rumour Has It is coming to a venue near you

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10
Oct
15

Rumour Has It

 

Rumour Has It

Queensland Theatre Company

& the little red company

Bille Brown Studio

October 7 – 17 2015

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

rumourhasit_daydreamer

 

Slicker and funnier and more affecting than ever, the little red company’s Rumour Has It returns to Brisbane, this time as a (DIVA) highlight in QTC’s 2015 program.

 

It feels different in the Bille Brown Studio, with a bank of tiered seating behind a section of cabaret tables – the first time we’ve seen this set up here – and it’s not quite as intimate as earlier versions, staged at Stockholm Syndrome, berardo’s restaurant & bar and also at Slide Sydney and Melbourne’s Chapel Off Chapel. Oh, and an unforgettable performance at the Matilda Awards in 2012! Ironically, the most intimate atmosphere was created in April 2013 in a much larger space at the Judith Wright Centre. (Let’s not forget that it was largely due to Lewis Jones’ support at the Judy that this show continued to grow).

 

I guess you never forget your first (few), but this latest version sees the show and its star in their best shape so far. It’s inspired programming for something mostly unseen by the state theatre company’s outgoing Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch. Price tells me she remembers performing for 850 people, a 25-minute version of the show (for QUT’s 25th Anniversary Gala in 2014) in a room so big that some of the guests thought she actually was Adele. This was Enoch’s only experience of the production. Luckily, Rumour Has It has proven to be a sure bet wherever it goes. Are you listening, Las Vegas???

 

I’m certain there’s a Celine show waiting to happen…

More gin, anyone?

 

Nobody but the indomitable Naomi Price could bring us such an authentic, dynamic performance as someone else whilst retaining so much of herself in the show. It’s convincingly Adele but it’s completely Price, and there are very few performers we can count in that particular talent pool. I’m thinking of Catherine Alcorn (The Divine Miss Bette, Go Your Own Way), Christie Whelan Browne (Britney Spears the Cabaret), and Elise McCann (Everybody Loves Lucy). Price has the uncanny ability to read an audience early, set and change the mood as if at the flick of a switch and keep us captivated with her charm, her wicked sense of humour and sheer vocal power. And she can sell a story.

 

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This version of the show (120 mins + interval), updated to reflect the current political climate and Jessie J’s take on the merits of “artists” v “entertainers”, comes dangerously close for half a moment to getting uncomfortably…personal. (Don’t worry, our favourite mimicry of Celine Dion and Amy Winehouse is still in there and again, the patter surrounding each performance is just as good as Price’s impersonations – I hear actual hoots of laughter at this point!). The new addition though – Jessie J making an appearance in Taylor Swift’s place – is absolutely priceless. (If you missed The Voice you might also miss the relevance of this delightful little jab). The impersonation is on point, and bookended by “Adele’s” typical witty wickedness, the final dig landing bang on target, proves once more that we can never underestimate the value of brilliant writing, or of precision timing in terms of its delivery #bangbang #boom

 

Generously acknowledged by Price and rightly so, is her world-class cast of musos and backing vocalists, some of the busiest in the country; together they make a slick, sexy band in a class of their own. They are Jason McGregor (Musical Director & guitars), Michael Manikus (piano), Andrew Johnson (bass), Mik Eastman (drums), Rachael Everett-Jones (vocalist), Tom Oliver (vocalist) and Luke Kennedy (vocalist). With original arrangements by Price, McGregor and Manikus, and vocal arrangements by Price and Kennedy, there’s simply no better sounding company. The creative team is just as impressive: Adam Brunes (writer), Jason Glenwright (lighting designer), Jamie Taylor (production manager & audio engineer and thank goodness, the sound is spot on), and Nathalie Ryner & Leigh Buchanan (costuming). A special mention goes to Dextress Hair’s Rebecca Hubbard, who perfected the wigs for this production.

 

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If everyone involved in this production can keep juggling their creative commitments Rumour Has It – now one of Australia’s most loved original cabarets – might not be local for much longer. With Adele’s third album about to be released, an international stint couldn’t be more perfectly timed… Anyone?

 

If you’ve never seen Naomi Price in “the Adele show”, now’s your chance.

 

Rumour Has It is world class and without a doubt the most entertaining evening of the year. Don’t miss it this time.

 

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Production pics by Dylan Evans Photography

 

 

See more of Naomi Price in QTC’s Ladies in Black

November 14 – December 6 2015

 

Naomi Price joins Andrew Broadbent, Kate Cole, Carita Farrer Spencer, Bobby Fox, Kathryn McIntyre, Lucy Maunder, Sarah Morrison, Christen O’Leary, Deidre Rubenstein and Greg Stone.

Directed by Simon Phillips, the world premiere of Ladies in Black – a magical modern-day fairytale – features original music by Tim Finn.

 

30
Sep
14

QTC launches impressive season for 2015

 

Queensland Theatre Company Season Launch 2015

QPAC Playhouse

Monday September 29 2014

 

Four world premieres, a super star Main Stage and a five-show DIVA program lead a front row Season 2015 for the state’s theatre company

 

Queensland Theatre Company has unveiled a stunning Season 2015, the most diverse and ambitious program the company has ever staged, starring an extraordinary lineup of acclaimed actors, writers, directors, musicians and designers.

 

Four world premieres, a mainstage program of eight major works, a DIVA program celebrating women on stage and more, the season features a roll call of music and theatre greats and emerging stars  – Tim Finn, Amanda Muggleton, Noeline Brown and Darren Gilshenen, Carol Burns, Christen O’Leary, Libby Munro, Margi Brown Ash, Tama Matheson and Jason Klarwein, Rob Carlton, Nicki Wendt, Rachael Beck, Robyn Arthur, Dash Kruck, Michael Tuahine, Chenoa Deemal, Naomi Price, Daniel Evans, Hugh Parker, Brian Lucas, Lucas Stibbard, Amy Ingram, Conrad Colby, Lucy Goleby, Melanie Zanetti, Emily Burton, Helen Cassidy, Nicholas Gell, Barbara Lowing and the list goes on.

 

Directors taking the lead this year include the internationally acclaimed Simon Phillips, the prolific Roger Hodgman, Iain Sinclair, as well as QTC’s own Artistic DirectorWesley Enoch, Todd MacDonald, Daniel Evans and current Resident Directors Andrea Moor and Jason Klarwein and more.

 

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The year starts with David Mamet’s witty comedy Boston Marriage and ends with the world premiere of an outstanding new musical called Ladies in Black. This stunning adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel, is brought to life by multi award winner Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Love Never Dies) with original music from superstar singer and musician, Tim Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House).

 

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Ladies in Black has been supported by the Newman Government’s Super Star Fund, a Queensland Government program that delivers super star performances exclusive to the state.

 

Arts Minister Ian Walker said Ladies in Black was the latest project to receive Super Star Fund investment. “This is another coup for Queensland which sees the Super Star Fund once more giving Queensland audiences world-class arts productions, as well as unique opportunities for our Queensland artists to learn from the best in their field,” Minister Walker said.

 

Ladies in Black will be nothing short of extraordinary. With Tim Finn creating the music and our own Christen O’Leary as the star, this marks the triumphant return of true musical theatre to Queensland Theatre Company’s stage.

 

“This world premiere will be a uniquely Queensland experience, and we look forward to welcoming audiences from Brisbane, regional areas and interstate for what will be a blockbuster stage event in 2015.”

 

QTC Artistic Director Wesley Enoch said that from the opening night of Boston Marriage on January 24 through to the closing show of Ladies in Black on December 6, the year is a front row offering for all ages.

 

“2015 stands as out most ambitious and wide-ranging in terms of content, actors and delivery. There’s the very funny stage adaptation of the hit TV show Mother & Son; two more world premieres – Brisbane, about the infamous Battle of Brisbane during WWII told through the eyes of a young boy, and Country Song, focusing on Indigenous country and western legend Jimmy Little, with lots of great songs and also three iconic plays: Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, Chekhov’s The Seagull and Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days,” he said.

 

“In addition to the mainstage, there is a special celebration of amazingly talented Queensland women in a suite of works called DIVA. For all the family we present the whimsical Argus created by Dead Puppet Society and for older ones Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, a contemporary retelling of the Oedipus story and winner of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award.”

 

“QTC has been the leader in Queensland theatre for 45 years and in 2015 we are bringing you a huge range of professional productions that show off the best talent from around the country.

 

“Our season draws from our nationally recognised Indigenous Program, our showcasing of local independent theatre companies, partnerships with commercial presenters, plays commissioned from our New Works Program, the return of the musical and of course our very special DIVA program.”

 

“Season 2015 is another tremendous on-stage adventure, we hope you love it.”

 

Launching Season 2015 in the finest of on-stage style is Boston Marriage, the quick-fire turn-of-the-century comedy riddled with the wicked wit of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer behind Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow, David Mamet. Performed on Broadway in 2002, Boston Marriage stars double Helpmann Award-winning actor Amanda Muggleton under the directorship of Andrea Moor, who delighted audiences and critics alike and won a Matilda Award for 2013’s Venus in Fur.  This three-woman production will also tour to 10 Queensland regional centres in 2015.

 

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Fresh from the world premiere season at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre comes Mother & Son, the brand new stage comedy based on the treasured Australian  television classic, with an all-star cast led by Noeline Brown and Darren Gilshenan together with Rob Carlton, Nicki Wendt, Rachael Beck and Robyn Arthur. Written by Geoffery Atherden and directed by Roger Hodgman Mother & Son will be a highlight stage experience.

 

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In April QTC presents the world premiere of Brisbane by Queensland playwright Matthew Ryan.

 

A large scale new work starring an all-Brisbane cast including Conrad Colby, Lucy Goleby, Dash Kruck and Melanie Zanetti, Brisbane tells a significant  story of our Queensland capital, in a year when Australian commemorates a century of service in different theatres of war.

 

 

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July 4 heralds the world premiere of the exciting new Indigenous work Country Song. An award winning script by Reg Cribb, it is based on an original concept by Michael Tuahine. Country Song is set in 1973 with the opening of the Sydney Opera House and revolves around legendary singer Jimmy Little and includes  true life experiences of other Indigenous singers such as Wilma Reading, Auriel Andrew, Bobby McLeod, Vic Simms, Roger Knox and Lionel Rose – this is a true onstage, toe-tapping adventure.

 

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In August QTC’s Actors Studio presents The Seagull. QTC Artistic Associate Todd MacDonald and Queensland playwright Daniel Evans will adapt this classic which will be performed by an ensemble of ten acclaimed Brisbane actors: Emily Burton, Helen Cassidy, Nicholas Gell, Amy Ingram, Jason Klarwein, Barbara Lowing, Brian Lucas, Christen O’Leary, Hugh Parker and Lucas Stibbard. This will be a bold contemporary retelling of one of Chekhov’s great plays.

 

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The classic comedy from Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Award-winning American playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon, The Odd Couple reteams the odd couple from 2013’s Design For Living, uber talented duo Jason Klarwein and Tama Matheson – as the housemates from hell for what will be another season highlight, under the direction of Wesley Enoch.

 

Accompanying the Mainstage Season is the DIVA suite of works which  brings together five theatrical goddesses, each taking centre stage in their own tour-de-force performances.

 

 

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Chenoa Deemal tells touching, funny stories of tears and reconciliation in a celebration of Indigenous survival in The 7 Stages of Grieving, a powerful story by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman. Doyenne of the stage Carol Burns is brave Winnie, buried to her waist in Samuel Beckett’s absurd, surreal masterpiece Happy Days. Libby Munro is a deadly Air Force pilot brought back to earth with a bump when she falls pregnant in Grounded. Margi Brown Ash shares her life story in Home, bouncing across several continents as actor, therapist, schoolgirl, soapie starlet, wife and mother. And Naomi Price transforms into pop star Adele in Rumour Has it – a Grammy goddess ready to spill her guts about the man who wronged her.

 

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Season 2015 Ticketing Details:

 

 

Subscriptions on sale from Monday, 29 September at 6pm via queenslandtheatre.com.au

 

 

Phone sales available from 9am Tuesday, 30 September by calling Freecall 1800 355 528 or in person at QTC 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane, 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday.

 

 

 

20
Jun
13

The Supper Clubs – Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele & Mrs Bang is Back!

 

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele & Mrs Bang is Back!

Noosa Long Weekend Festival

berardo’s restaurant and bar

18th – 20th June 2013

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward 

 

The Noosa Long Weekend Festival’s Supper Clubs are always a hit, and this year is no different. berardo’s is a tough room to play, so this is a gig that challenges all but those at the top of their game. Marina Prior and James Morrison spring to mind. In the past, they have effortlessly shown how it’s done.

 

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Naomi Price

 

Rumour Has It 2013. Pictured Naomi Price 2. Image by Dylan Evans

You’re invited to spend an evening with Adele: Grammy goddess, young mum, and pottymouthed everywoman. For the first time in Noosa, Adele rolls in the deep down under, spilling intimate details about life on the road, love on the rocks, and the prick who took a sledge hammer to her heart…

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele marries a modern-day music legend with one of Queensland’s best-loved musical theatre imports, British chanteuse Naomi Price. Following critically acclaimed seasons in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and on the Gold Coast, this wickedly satirical new cabaret rolls into Noosa for one-night-only as part of the Noosa Long Weekend.

 

On Tuesday night I saw the Queensland premiere of David Williamson’s play, Happiness, and stopped by berardo’s afterwards to see how Adele was being received by the Supper Club crowd. It was a late show so I was lucky enough to catch it. I’ve seen Naomi’s Adele show three times and I’m not over it yet!

 

It seemed this might be new territory, a brand new sense of humour for some of the Noosa audience, who didn’t necessarily appreciate the course language (spattered throughout, by no means OTT), and early references to Tussaud’s, although it has to be said that the younger audience members thought that hilarious, as the signs of a good surgeon are always evident, aren’t they? Just saying.

 

Naomi took the first two numbers to warm up, using Rumour Has It and Rolling In the Deep to get the feel for the room, and introduce the music of multi-award winning Adele to a whole new audience. She won them over in the end, with witty patter and her occasional beautiful tender moments, making the story all the more personal in the intimate surrounds of berardo’s, but it was tough work! Naomi Price is a sensational performer and with this performance she proved she’s able to win over any sort of crowd. Favourites included her detailed impersonations of Celine Dion and Amy Winehouse. Taylor Swift (“Who’s Taylor Swift?”) not so much!

 

I love this show, and I always look forward to seeing it! Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele will go everywhere, and I have no doubt that either this show, or another of The Little Red Company’s productions, starring Naomi Price, will return in some guise to surprise and entertain a whole new Long Weekend audience.

 

Mrs Bang is Back!

Sheridan Harbridge

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Just when you thought it was safe to return to Hastings Street, ‘Mrs Bang’ returns to Noosa. Mrs Bang, the mad and delicious she-cat of song, is hittin’ the road to win more hearts and break more heels.

An unabashed mess of calamity, romance and loin-aching seduction, Mrs Bang takes on Noosa once again in this hilarious comedy of wine stained vocals and sumptuous catastrophe.

Bringing houses down from Edinburgh to Poland, Winner of Best Cabaret at Melbourne Fringe Festival and a Green Room award nominee, Mrs Bang: A Series of Seductions is a fast-paced ride with a woman on the edge, venturing through the music of Supertramp, Talking Heads, Sonny Bono and Portishead. Seductive and superbly funny, it is cabaret dripped in absinthe and left in the gutter.

Get ready to be seduced….

 

Mrs Bang came to Noosa Long Weekend before Noosa was really ready for anything of the sort! But she’s come back on the success of that surprising debut and she is just as funny, naughty, cheeky and entertaining.

 

Sheridan Harbridge brought such a sassy, sexy character to berardo’s that the audience members who hadn’t seen her before were clearly shocked! It’s a great show, a hilarious premise, with the band not arriving and Mrs Bang having to carry on regardless. A single poignant moment, which brings us a sublime rendition of Bang Bang, made famous by Nancy Sinatra, sits snugly in between the delightful Do You Like My Dress? (Russell, random audience member. Last time it was Macquarie’s Simon Gamble) and a run of funny anecdotes and musical numbers (not to mention a finale that will knock your socks off!) showcasing Sheridan’s multiple skill sets, necessary of course, to make cabaret a success.

 

Sheridan’s is the show that not only every punter will love but also every performer should see. Final show tonight.

 

The Noosa Long Weekend’s final Supper Club happens on Friday night, featuring for the first time in Noosa, Tyran Parke.

 

“There have been scant few cabaret debuts as good as this one; commandingly sung and alternately interesting, funny and touching.” Cabaret Scenes, New York

 

Tyran Parke

 

Friday 21 June

 

berardo’s at 8:30pm

 

Two-course supper, glass of wine and show.

 

 

The Festival Highlight Celebrations Concert on Sunday features the best of The Noosa Long Weekend artists 12pm – 4pm at the Outrigger.

 

Bookings online noosalongweekend.com

07
May
13

Perfect Tripod: Australian Songs

 

Perfect Tripod: Australian Songs

Brisbane Powerhouse & Smartartists

Powerhouse Theatre

2nd-4th of May 2013

 

Reviewed by Guy Frawley

 

I’ve been a Tripod fan ever since discovering them on skitHOUSE during the early 2000s and had been really quite excited to be able to finally see them live. I’ve always found their act to be very funny; their music to be a lot of fun and most importantly the dynamic between the three of them has always seemed natural and unlaboured.

 

The original Tripod guys are joined by Eddie Perfect (and his beautiful vocal range), with the addition of ‘the new guy’ adding a really fun element to the established shtick of the original trio. According to the shows synopsis the idea for Perfect Tripod: Australian Songs was born after the rapturous response to their cover of Paul Kelly’s Meet Me in the Middle of the Air. And for me I think that might be where the concept started to unravel.

 

This show seemed neither natural nor unlaboured.

 

I don’t think it was ever supposed to be straight up comedy, of course by the very nature of Tripod’s involvement it was bound to have some very entertaining comedic components, but the piece wasn’t marketed or presented as comedy and never truly, fully crossed into this territory.

 

And as a musical performance I couldn’t help but feel that the entire show wouldn’t have been better served with extra rehearsal time and further discussion on exactly who would be best positioned to sing which parts.

 

When it worked, it really worked! A capella isn’t easy and between the four of them there were definitely some WOW moments.

 

It’s easy to see why Meet Me in the Middle of the Air was received with such a positive response. They sounded incredible when performing this number and when their harmonies were on the mark one couldn’t help but listen in awe. The banter between members and their impromptu jests had the audience howling with laughter and I was reminded many times throughout the show of why I loved Tripod in the first place.

 

Yet the majority of the show felt vaguely empty, with much the same soul and finesse of a good karaoke cover. They can all sing, Eddie Perfect was the real standout vocal star of the evening, but there’s no doubt they can all sing. Which made the occasional song choice, key choice and the personal allocation of parts so perplexing. I’m stumped as to why, if choosing from the full length and breadth of Australian music, they would restrict themselves to choices that didn’t always compliment their personal strengths and hide their individual weaknesses.

 

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The show oscillated between a loving piss take and a delightfully irreverent homage but never really found its footing in either camp and I think suffered because of this. An extra week or two in rehearsal also wouldn’t have hurt, as there were several moments throughout that made me wonder how this could have possibly already played a season in Melbourne. Not because it didn’t appear über polished, I wasn’t expecting a Human Nature styled slick performance; it just didn’t seem fully prepared.

 

I never felt like I was being showcased a collection of well loved and defining pieces of Australian music, it was just a selection of songs (some with comedic potential) that also happened to be Australian.

 

 

When talented artists work with brilliant existing material to put their own take on it the final product can be absolutely phenomenal (I’m looking at you Naomi Price).

 

Perfect Tripod: Australian Songs was never really able to make it past ‘good’.

 

27
Apr
13

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Judith Wright Centre

Judith Wright Centre & The Little Red Company 

24th – 28th April 2013

 

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

 

Rumour has it The Little Red Company is planning to take Sixty Minutes Inside Adele overseas.

 

 

Rumour Has It. Naomi Price. Image by Dylan Evans.

I first saw this show in Stockholm (Brisbane’s short-lived cabaret space upstairs at Stockholm Syndrome Cafe and Bar in Albion) after it had premiered at the Gold Coast Arts Centre last year. Since then the work has evolved considerably, and the latest version is superior, combining spellbinding vocals and slick, witty patter – less of it – with a hot band (Jason McGregor, Andrew Johnson, Mik Easterman & Brett Fowler) and three polished performers on backing vocals (Rachel Everett-JonesLuke Kennedy & Laisiasa Utovou).

 

The Judy has never felt so welcoming, with a free exhibition in the Shopfront by Photographer Dylan Evans (The Dylan Evans Experience features Adele Uncovered, a collection of “candid” shots of Naomi Price as Adele), and a brand new configuration inside the theatre, at Price’s request, to avoid distancing herself from her audience. Price is a performer who knows instinctively what an audience wants. And she delivers on every level.

 

The Up Late show at 10pm on Friday night followed hot on the high black heels of an earlier performance so in the foyer as we collected our tickets and exchanged hugs and kisses (MWAH!) with a crowd that included Chris Beckey, Lauren Jackson, Thomas Larkin, Guy Frawley and Samantha Turk (on her stopover between London and Tanzania. More on that in another post!), there was already a wonderful crossover taking place, as people spilled out and collided into those who were waiting to take their seats inside. There was amazing energy in the air, and a level of excitement usually reserved for opening nights.

 

Naomi Price, possessing greater talent than I suspect even she realises, has reached an exciting place with this version of the show. Co-created with Adam Brunes over gin on the back deck, and refined over five recent seasons across the country, Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele is a very different show. It’s suddenly a great deal more sophisticated, thrusting Price back into a spotlight she’d stepped away from for a year, if you recall, of touring schools and teaching singers. Price seems to have realised (or remembered) where it is she belongs and that is in the spotlight, in front of a captivated crowd.

 

The ambience is helped by big perfect sound, by Jason Glenwright’s swish lighting design (this guy is EVERYWHERE!), featuring a fantastic collection of vintage lamp shades, hanging at various lengths in various places about the space, and the rather ramshackle relaxed and cosy “cabaret” style seating arrangement. It’s easy to envisage this show going on in any of the world’s top cabaret venues. It’s as if this extra show has been added to let us know it’s now ready for the international circuit. (I can’t wait to see it again soon, Supper Club style, in the intimate space of berardo’s during the internationally renowned Noosa Long Weekend Festival!)

 

Every number is stronger and sassier than before. There’s a new intensity, and something between sympathy and integrity replaces much of the parody. We see more of Adele and fewer of her superfluous layers, which have been stripped away by a couple of pairs of discerning eyes during the redevelopment process. The subtle changes make for a slicker, more honest performance.

 

Rumour Has It. Naomi Price. Image by Dylan Evans.

A master of mood change, Price takes us effortlessly from one number to the next, for the first time stepping into the audience with her Musical Director Jason McGregor to sing Daydreamer amidst a cloud of bubbles. She quips about the low (“emerging Queensland artists”) production budget and that sadly, bubbles were the best they could do. It’s funny because it’s true. (How lucky are our artists, to have venues and presenters like The Judy supporting them? More on THAT in another post!). In the same breath, the song takes over in an extended, spellbinding moment that could just as easily, in somebody else’s hands, have come across as a cheap way into a gorgeous song, and not in the least bit funny or entertaining. There are several moments like this throughout the show, when Price so expertly manipulates content and form to achieve the desired response from her audience that we find we’re swept along with her – by her – before we know it.

 

 

 

 

This is pure and simple magic; the command of the craft and the compelling connection between artist and audience only ever created by the most accomplished and confident performers.

 

And in case we are in any doubt at all about the artist’s phenomenal talent or broad appeal, before the night is over, Price doles out some wicked send-ups of notable singers, including the Spice Girls, Celine Dion, Taylor Swift and Amy Winehouse. In another new addition, her soaring rendition of Skyfall is sublime. We see, once again, that in any guise Price first serves the lyric, and lives out every moment of her heartfelt story through song.

 

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There’s no doubt that Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele is ready for a global audience. There’s even a twelve-month window while Adele is in “lock-down mode” and The Little Red Company would do well to fill the gap.

 

Nathanael Cooper said it too: this show is a star vehicle and Naomi Price is about to skyrocket.

 

“I think the show as it stands now is a combination of the ridiculous, outlandish humour and moments of absolute poignant truth.”

Naomi Price, in an interview with Paul Andrew