After a week of sweltering humidity the Urban Orchard was a balmy evening retreat and the atmosphere just as groovy as last year’s wonderful launch of this venue. The gorgeous “The Pearl” Speigeltent was packed with eager cabaret lovers to welcome the feline intimate herself.
Accompanied by accomplished pianist, Lance Horne and the equally talented percussionist Alon Ilsar, the amazing Meow Meow held us spell-bound for an hour and a half of pure delight.
With her vocal range and talent this artiste could have easily opted for a straight cabaret performance, however she asserted her comedic skills and presented us with an engagingly awful persona.
Assuming the character of a diva fallen on hard times she constantly reminded the audience of past glories and exhorted them to shower her with the roses she had been forced to provide herself. After the hire company retrieved the costume which “had only been booked for the opening number” she stripped to a chemise. Amusingly she insisted that her accompanists also join her in undress which they did to immense audience approval.
As she growled and purred her way through an assortment of Berlin-styled cabaret numbers, Meow Meow selected various audience members (usually male) to assist her, since her usual support was so clearly lacking. This they did by holding a smoke machine, a spotlight, assisting her in disrobing or dressing and generally being leaned against or sat upon.
The vamp, be-wigged, jewelled and poured into a black strapless number displayed an astonishing décolletage, creamy skin and more than a passing resemblance to La Lollobrigida herself.
Alternatively crooning and scolding her audience in German, French and English she sang of unrequited love and implied lust. (“There is no Cure for L’amour!”)
The running gag of audience participation was a huge crowd pleaser. I can’t believe that a large proportion of the audience had not previewed Meow Meow on You Tube and knew full well what to expect. The recipients of her personal attention readily complied. There were plenty of encouraging barked commands – “ Do you speak English?”, “ In your own time” and “ Stand up!”
The double entendres flew fast and furious as the show progressed and a highlight was an extended version of a song entitled “Dolly, Dolly, Doll”, in which the subject matter progressed from childhood toy to sex doll. This number included crowd surfing by a blow up sex toy costumed as the artiste, a revolve staging based on a tin waiters’ tray and a front row chorus line of doll-brandishing audience members.
The epic, “Come Dance With Me (at the End of the World)” sung in English and German displayed her exquisite voice to the full. This was followed by a clever bitter-sweet lament “All The Girls”.
Lastly the audience were seductively invited to fraternize with Miss Meow at the CD and poster stand. Unsurprisingly many did.
A truly fabulous Fringe event.
Perth Fringe World Festival 2012
Venue: The Speigeltent | Perth Cultural Centre
Dates: February 2 – 12, 2012