Rosie Rodiadis flings her character at the audience to open Uncloaked, kicking off her cabaret show with verve and a dynamic presence. Uncloaked is a lovely concept where a lonely claustrophobic cloakroom attendant tries on some of the garments people have left in her care and dons a different character with each one, singing just the right song to tell us more. Rodiadis starts wth Gracie singing her original song In the Cloakroom, a marvellous number which tells you're in the hands of someone who knows what she's doing. The other songs are covers of classics where even the well-known ones like Falling In Love Again sound fresh in this context. The girl can sing although it has to be said that her voice is best suited to opera. The highlight of the show is the Swear Word opera – a funny sketch where the hysterical delivery and the juxtaposition of operatic style vocals with profanities really tickles the silly bones.
Rodiadis comes up with some witty concepts – does a 'singles party' mean you get one plate, one glass, one piece of cutlery? And some gems of lines: “He told me he loved me in four languages; I believed him in five.' Here's another: “Look after number one cos you'll meet a lot of number twos'. Excellent.
The punning at times reminds you of Kathy Lette at her best and is clever but at others, is weakened by odd clunky phrases, people being 'covered in facade' for example, and 'unfair atrocities'. As the show progresses the writing loses control of its insane imagery and the rhyme takes over, the monologues turning into verses that rhyme for their own sake without meaning anything much. Rodiadis gives the same rhyming and punning language to too many of her characters so you get the sense of the writing being pleased with its own sense of cleverness. The script needs a lot of compression to really work and more attention paid to what is being said rather than how. Not all the characters have been developed deeply enough and sometimes touch on issues beyond their scope, sounding confused. One character is talking about death and refers to an indigenous funeral rite as a corroboree – this sort of thing needs careful checking. Not all the characters are successful – the seven year old fairy talking politics didn't work for me and the drag queen character is a nasty parody and needs some proper research if she's to come across as authentic. At one point there is mention of a ghost in the cloakroom – I was curious as to whose ghost it might have been but Rodiadis doesn't bring the ghost on and so misses the opportunity for a one-sided dialogue; a diversion and change of tone would sit well at this moment.
All that aside, the performer is confident, winningly talented with a great deal to offer. She's a comedy natural with great energy, a terrific stage presence and a muscular sense of theatricality; a lot of fun to see in action.
Melbourne Fringe 2013
by Rosie Rodiadis
Directed by Sarah Bollenberg
Venue: Portland Hotel | Cnr Russell & Little Collins St, Melbourne
Dates: 24 Sep – 6 October, 2013
Tickets: $18.00 – $15.00