Neurotic Ladyland | Christa HughesLeft – Christa Hughes. Photo – Kellyann Denton

Christa Hughes took one of the most eclectic audiences I’ve ever seen (older, younger, rakish, trendy, male, female, other... even aged white-bearded bikies!) and placed them firmly in the palm of her hand.

Setting the scene for over an hour of one woman tour-de-force was a 1930’s style, read “slightly cracked-record”, rendition of “Paper Moon”.

This was an introduction to a stylish menu of extraordinary female characters ranging through rock star personas to Berlin Cabaret artistes. There was reference to her Machine Gun Fellatio period with some raunchy numbers with explicit lyrics, performed to enormous audience acclaim.

The first part of the show saw Hughes open in vaudeville mode with garish make-up, crooning Letter to Daddy. It will give you some idea of the diversity and talent demonstrated in this performance when I list the next two songs; a lip-synch to Beautiful Girl and a fabulous guitar-wielding rock and roll version of Cracked Actor.

Two German cabaret numbers were followed by an instrumental break during which Hughes slipped offstage to transform herself into the sexiest nun ever (vinyl corset and thigh-high lace up dominatrix boots, later revealed).  A fabulously wicked version of My Favourite Things followed.

Another highlight was a song lamenting the recent loss of Pussy in Porn, sadly supplanted by rear entry!  

These three incredibly vulgar but inordinately amusing, numbers were delivered, in character, as 1970’s American feminist protester, Fanny Warhol. Obviously a familiar figure to Hughes cognoscenti, and delivered, with outrageous verbal audacity.

The Butcher Song was a wonderful hymn to the dreadful female obsession of self-improvement surgery at any cost. Be it pain or fiscal.

The show closed with a neat wrap of multiple song lyrics including the opening Paper Moon, underlining the diverse and sometime hopelessness of the characters which modern day women are forced  to and seek to inhabit.

Hughes was ably supported by two clever musicians jazz pianist Leonie Cohen and on drums Jim Dunlop. A wonderful entertainment.


Christa Hughes
NEUROTIC LADYLAND
A Musical Melodrama

Venue: DownStairs at the Maj, Perth WA
Dates: 15 – 17 August 2013
Tickets:  $42 – $38
Bookings: 1300 795 012 | ticketek.com.au

Part of the 2013 City of Perth Winter Arts Season