Rufus WainwrightThe audience was a surprising mixture. There were far more middle aged attendees than members of the youthful set. Perhaps many had been following the Wainwright/McGarrigle dynasty for decades. The house was packed and gave a warm welcome to the delightful Lucy Wainwright Roche. She has a pure tuneful voice, with perfect enunciation and the charm of an impish ingénue. Undoubtedly she has been on stage since childhood and engaged the audience with utter charm, soliciting questions and responding with sweetness and wit. She gave us a couple of poignant story songs but her “black lullabies” and “twisted nursery rhymes” were delightfully funny highlights.

Rufus Wainwright received tumultuous welcome applause. He performed solo onstage playing a grand piano. During his opening number I was concerned that the sound was over- amped and too brassy, but it soon settled down to a much better mix.

Despite having endured a dreadfully long flight from USA he was in a whimsical mood and offered some funny, flippant observations about cricketers staying at the same hotel as him. He seemed genuinely pleased at the warmth of the reception he received.

His vocal range and strength is marvellous and his piano playing superb. There were wonderfully emotive familiar songs like Beauty Mark, Out of the Game and The Art Teacher.

Liza Minnelli (Wainwright Roche) entered the stage to a fanfare and exploding streamers. This was the cue for the song about the sometimes complicated consequences of having famous parents, Me and Liza. Understandably the performing family lineage is a recurring theme for both of these Wainwrights.

The Gay Messiah, Montauk, Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, Going to a Town lead to the gorgeous Hallelujah for which he was joined again by sister, Lucy Wainwright Roche. Probably the best rendition I’ve ever heard of the song, and there are multitudinous versions.

Generous with his encores, including the beautiful Poses, Wainwright departed the stage to thunderous clapping and cheers.


2015 Perth Festival
Rufus Wainwright
Support Lucy Wainwright Roche

Venue: Perth Concert Hall
Date: 2 March 2015
Tickets: $70 – $95
Bookings: perthfestival.com.au


ALSO – Touring nationally 2015
4 March Palais Theatre, St Kilda, Melbourne
9 March State Theatre, Sydney
12 March The Tivoli, Brisbane


Most read Perth reviews

What a pleasure to be out and about again and especially in the cosy, relaxed atmosphere of The...