As for the show... it opens with some very pretty piano and our star, Belinda Raisin, unexpectedly going through a ballet routine. Well, perhaps not so unexpected given that she is a trained ballerina. As fluid and graceful as her movements are, she has a bit of a breakdown, and the comedy begins.
Belinda plays Frances, a modern woman obsessed with making lists and making confessions to an audience she manages to keep enthralled from start to finish. She will also keep you laughing, possibly make you shed a tear, and she keeps the booze flowing whilst roller-blading around the intimate theatre. It's okay though – she has an RSA. It's a show of perfectly orchestrated physical chaos and angst and sweaty yoga because we have to fit yoga into our busy life because Frances wants it all and she wants it now. And lists – did I mention lists? It's a show of engaging story telling, music and song.
There is lots of song, not the standard cabaret fodder – although if Raisin went down that road I don't doubt it would be just as wonderful an experience as this was, such is the quality of her voice. She can play it soft and seductive as effortlessly as she belts out the loud ones. The whole show is a completely engaging marriage of graceful, gangly physical humour and moving honesty.
There was teamwork at play between Raisin and pianist Jamie Teh. Perfectly on cue he would hand a prop to the songstress without missing a note on the piano... but why did he look so earnest throughout? Why was he concentrating so much. And where were his music sheets?
Perhaps I'm a bit slow but I had no idea until the end, until the wonderfully talented Belinda Raisin lead her cohort in cabaret comedy to the centre of the stage to take bows, that he is completely blind. When he broke out in that smile of appreciation at the applause, the applause grew even louder. Wonderful stuff. So much talent on such a small stage.
When I asked my plus one, The Dreaded One (because of the coloured dreadlocks) what she thought of the show, she said simply. “I love her.” Uh-huh.
2013 Melbourne Cabaret Festival
Confessions of a Control Freak
by Belinda Raisin
Venue: The Butterfly Club | Carson Place off Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Dates: Tues 2 July @9:30pm; Wed 3 July @6:00pm; Thurs 4 July @7:00pm
Tickets: $25 – $15