Photo – Kurt Sneddon
Lisa Adam is a seasoned professional who has toured with big name shows. She and her management for the Fringe run have had a shockingly bad run with venue changes (3 at last count) which would be enough for most to simply pull the pin on the Perth Fringe. But with the amount of work that has gone into re-interpreting original Winehouse lyrics to suit the locale I can see why they persisted, and happily, so could the sold out crowd.
Adam made her entrance late due to a fire drill but nothing could ruffle the feathers of the excited, anticipatory crowd. She looked every inch the part with dramatic make up, tattoos and of course the amazing bee-hive hairdo. Her backing band; piano Kohen Van Sambeek, Musical Director/Keyboard, Shane Pooley, Electric Bass and Liam Hickey on drums were absolutely excellent.
Adam was in fine voice though perhaps not quite as gritty as the real Winehouse per se. She had her best shot at the North London accent and has, with her original co-writers Trevor Ashley and Phil Scott, created a clever and extremely funny show.
Certainly the purposefully outrageous humorous dialogue is handled extremely well with gags and throwaway lines galore.
There were cleverly written localized lyrics to the Rehab tune which segued into a poignant version of I’m No Good. Another brilliant number was If I Only Had Cocaine sung to the Wizard of Oz lament If I Only Had a Brain.
Jazz was clearly Winehouse’s oeuvre and she attracted a lot of media attention. I would imagine she might briefly have revelled in this but it quickly palled.
Adam (as Housewine) was scathing in her dismissal of celebrity status and the mingling with other artists and noteries, only to find them extraordinarily dull in person. Her monologue of the “night of nights” drug-fuelled celebrity name-dropping never-ending party was fantastic.
There was a plethora of drug equipment; bongs, small packets of white powder and various bottles of alcohol at her side at all times. We are introduced to Blake, the much vilified husband, who introduces the already keen booze hound to harder stuff. He becomes another of her dangerous addictions.
Blake is jailed and receives an extra 12 month sentence. Winehouse falls into further despair and ironically the song Rehab becomes a worldwide hit. Adam mourns with the poignant Love is a Losing Game.
(“You go back to her”) and I go Back to Black was a highlight. There was also a lovely version to the tune of The Man That Got Away.
The audience was in full voice to the chorus of the drinking song I Love to have a Beer with Amy and Adam worked the room brilliantly pouncing on 3 three men and improvising their names into the lyrics.
The audience response was enthusiastic and compliments and congratulations flowed.
Bent Knee Creative presents
Amy Housewine – Back To Crack
conceived by Tony Millett | written by Trevor Ashley and Lisa Adam
Venue: ACE'S Cabaret at Downstairs at The Maj | 825 Hay St Perth, WA
Dates: 16 – 18 Feb 2017
Part of the 2017 Perth Fringe World Festival