There are moments in theatre that leave you not quite breathless, yet they cause your heart to beat just that little bit faster, raise goose bumps on your skin and transport you into a character's life so seamlessly, it is as though the performance is just for you.
It is this intimacy that Zulei Khan brings to The Butterfly Club in her self written debut cabaret Triage! An insightful and darkly funny piece about the glory of being a Division 1 nurse in Melbourne's Emergency Department, Khan leaves no patient behind and has no story too taboo. From messy drunks to bleeding tradesmen, Khan is a treasure trove of horrifying tales from Melbourne's gritty, gross and exhausting health care system.
The autobiographical piece shows off Khan's smoky toned voice to perfection as she belts, scats and bats her eyelashes through the hour long show. Not so much naughty nurse, Khan is an absolute delight, relaying gems of information of patients with care, empathy and a large grain of salt.
However, it is in the final stages of the performance that Khan is really at her best. Her poignant tale of self discovery and liberation is one many can relate to regardless of their line of work. What Khan has achieved is beyond incredible, she has written a truthful, honest piece and delivered it with so much gusto that you would swear Melbourne's earthquake was caused by the powerful songstress herself.
A stellar performance, Khan's final song was a joyous reminder to be true to yourself, live with passion and reach for the stars. For a woman who has seen it all and come out on the other side smiling there is no greater reward.
A very talented lady, there is so much more to come from Zulei Khan and I for one can't wait to see it.
Venue: The Butterfly Club, 204 Bank Street, South Melbourne
Dates: June 19 – 24, 2012