This show’s start time was advertised as 7pm, only for me to discover on arrival that it actually kicked off at 8. After a long day at work and with this Melbourne evening beckoning a fireplace and a good braise, I have to admit I was feeling a bit grouchy. It didn’t take 30 seconds of watching the debauched comedy duo that is East End Cabaret before my scowly frown was turned upside down.
East End Cabaret is like a car crash you know you should look away from but you just can’t. Oh so wrong and very naughty, I saw grown men blush and move uncomfortably in their seats. Truth be told, it seems the women in the audience were having the most fun because what this show celebrates is that women too like to be candid and grotesque about sex. Yes the shackles are off girls!
Watching East End Cabaret‘s effervescent diva Bernadette Byrne and her jealous side kick Victor Victoria in action, it’s immediate that these two performers have bucket loads of talent. This duo confidently improvises while moving comfortably in and out of the parameters of their script as well as they possess voices that could slice and dice men into tiny, little pieces and then put then neatly back together again. Both have a commanding presence on stage while keeping their tongues firmly in their cheek, and, in Victor Victoria’s case, everywhere else … ping pong balls anyone? Not to mention that between them they play the accordion, keys, the violin, the musical saw and the ukulele.
Just as well these gals are so entertaining otherwise you’d just want to hate them for being so goddamed talented.
There were occasions when the humour was a bit hit and miss for me but the audience was having a blast so for any act it doesn’t get any better than that. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: I love the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. And it’s because of discovering fabulous shows like East End Cabaret that I love it.