Mark Storen is a visually arresting presence. Lanky, clad in black he executed an extraordinary range of physical movement. In portraying the jilted and often vengeful lover he was often downright spooky.
His wide vocal range was well displayed in this excellent montage of songs and spoken stories of failed passion.
I know comparisons are odious but here they seem inevitable as he skipped from song to song adopting various musical genres. My Heart, My Aching Heart was pure Tom Waits.
A French-accented female voice over followed, brutally informing the character she was departing to marry her Parisian lover; “Don’t follow me. It will only be embarrassing.”
An hilariously black highlight was the song that then outlined this woman’s sexual proclivities. Biting references were made to bicycles, a plank of wood and barbeque tongs! It was edgy, risqué and cleverly written. As was a marvellous tale of a milkman who discovers his wife “in flagrante” and wreaks a fiery revenge.
A clever device Storen used to great effect was audience participation. He stalked the auditorium and gently lured several women onto the stage at various times. One of these was a beguiling Alice-like young woman who sat through a speedy county and western ditty about a creepy stalker and a Bondi schoolgirl. She then obligingly ran frantically on the spot to many choruses of “She ran away from the scene”. Not surprisingly the audience were wildly appreciative of her efforts. I checked later none of these graceful audience members were “plants”. Well done to them!
Accompanist Tim Cunniffe then adopted a full ram’s head mask while Storer launched into a Springsteen-style ode of woe bemoaning the lack of appreciation of bestiality!
After a cheesy ragtime number about drowning in whisky, Storer pulled off his “coup de gras”. It was a brilliantly-written number which encapsulated all the evening’s themes of love, loss and depravity. It was a tight hour’s cabaret. Polished, witty, raunchy and the audience were in on every nuance. They lapped it up!
I can only re-iterate past reviews and extol the virtuoso talents of musician Tim Cuniffe. He is the most talented and sensitive musical accompanist.
themoxycollective & Deckchair Theatre presents
Cut to the Quick
Written & performed by Mark Storen
Part of the 2010 Fremantle Festival
Venue: Victoria Hall | 179 High St, Fremantle
Date/Time: Friday November 12 @ 8.00pm
Bookings: www.deckchairtheatre.com.au | 1300314151