For fans, Meow Meow’s return to Melbourne conjures an image of a child excitedly running alongside a train full wonders – the circus is coming to town. Accompanied by the incredible Melbourne Sympathy Orchestra under the direction of Benjamin Northey, the comedic cabaret covid free powerhouse eventually arrived on stage to kick off two incredible hours over two fabulous evenings at our glorious Hamer Hall.
With her astonishing presence, command and demands of an audience, Meow Meow delivers repeatedly in a packed programme of comedy, absurdity, and mesmerising gratuitous talent.
From her beloved music of the Weimar Republic offering a glimpse back to her time on the road with Barry Humphries, to her extraordinary take on Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees, so beautiful in fact that the melancholic poetry of the lyrics is amplified for near tears. Only Meow Meow could curate and pull off an evening so diverse in style and genre.
The joy of Meow Meow is never knowing when she will tear down her own masterful conventions and smash the mood or tension she has set up merely for a comedic win.
Her own collaborative works with Ian Grandage sit alongside cabaret standards by Kurt Weill and her closing number, Be careful by Patty Griffin, is indeed a powerful and beautiful sign off. Meow Meow really could sing the T&C’s of iTunes and we’d gladly listen but there is something so fitting about hearing her backed by the wall of sound that IS the MSO – and how wonderful to see each member of the orchestra return to the stage after interval and offer us a personal moment of indulgence.
During a brief conversation with the lady herself on her last visit to Melbourne came a sharing of disappointment that she had not, that night, as she had done during previous performances, crowd surfed – she remarked that perhaps next time she would ‘gift’ herself to the audience. As Meow Meow passed above the stalls on a wave of supportive arms, ‘GIFT’ was indeed the word that came to mind.
Never ever miss an opportunity to see this woman.
MEOW MEOW’S PANDEMONIUM
featuring Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Benjamin Northey
Venue: Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
Dates: 21 & 22 May 2021