Miss KWhen a techno-savvy modern world no longer needs the special sort of magic a singing telegram brings, what is a girl to do? Love, War, Faith and a Singing Telegram follows the efforts of singing telegram extraordinaire Miss K (Klara McMurray) to extricate herself from the unemployment line through a series of funny skits and songs. When Miss K can’t sell herself as the brand new leader of the Democrats via a dodgyed-up war with a bogus foe, she tries her hand as a cult leader, before finding love and a whole new twist to her future at the local train station.

Billed as a ‘brash, sexy, controversial, and very, very funny’ show ‘[p]eppered with political propaganda and salacious satire’, Love, War, Faith and a Singing Telegram is staged in cabaret-style, political references a vehicle for comedy more so than any particularly strong political commentary or message. The telegram’s story gives McMurray a chance to showcase her stand-up skills, and a wonderfully strong rapport with the audience. The show is full of funny moments – a five minute monologue on the fraught politics of asking a total stranger at a train station for a bite of his apple, for instance. This said, it does lose a bit of its force during the songs, because they are not overly stylised, and sometimes seem to be delivered ‘straight’ rather than via the comic personae with which McMurray clearly has so much facility. There are also moments where the direction is a bit loose, and I am not sure the size of the !Metro studio space suits the piece as well as some of the smaller venues the show has toured may have.

McMurray, an actor, clown, emcee and singer in Melbourne for the past five years, is strongest in stand-up mode throughout  Love, War, Faith and a Singing Telegram. It is this, combined with a nice little narrative twist to conclude the show, that allows Miss K and her accompanist Captain Funk (identified only as Bom) to carry the audience, not least in the co-conspiratorial little moments of audience interaction that make this sort of cabaret what it is. The show concludes it’s Northern tour with dates in Byron Bay and Lismore next week.

by Klara McMurray and Mayhem Productions


!Metro Arts
1– 2 June 2007, 8pm
www.metroarts.com.au or 07 3002 7100

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