There was some initial confusion in the audience as many of us were under the impression Ruth Wilkin would be actually impersonating famous divas. Once the penny dropped that this was a generic everywoman star’s story of rise to fame, fall from grace and rise again, we began to relax into the tale.
Wilkin is a strong performer with a big voice and the parodies of the star’s hit songs are clever in their purposefully banal, repetitive lyrics. She sharply dissects the pop life story into a formula that can be applied to just about any of the “beautiful people” featured in magazines like “Hello”. When she rose to support act status, her hair was newly styled, her teeth iridescent and her nose new! As the show progressed and the satire became sharper and the asides got funnier the audience really started to respond.
There were lovely touches such the star being invited to voice over an animated feature. She got to be the llama in “The Llama who lost her Little Red Hat”. An absolute career highlight because she also wrote the theme song which was nominated for an Academy award. Cliché upon cliché about fame and its prizes and perils were neatly sent up by Wilkin.
She also displayed a nice line in self-deprecating humour as she slipped from her own personality to that of the “legend” with consummate ease.
Perth Theatre Trust presents
Tribute: The Story of [Insert celebrity]'s Rise to Fame
Directed by Andrew Baker
Venue: Downstairs at The Maj, WA
Dates: 22 – 24 September 2016
Bookings: Ticketek.com.au/downstairsatthemaj | 1300 795 012